The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a beautifully written novel about the life of Aminata Diallo. Meena as she is known later is kidnapped from the interior of Africa at the age of 11 and sold into slavery. She escapes, makes her way to Nova Scotia, Sierra Leone, and ultimately London, England.

Hill’s research is thorough—the character’s life weaves in and out of facts and truths from the time.

Personally, it helped me to understand some of what my ancestors endured in their lifetimes as well as some of the history of how Africans lived and their own roles in the slave trade.

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How to Be Peace published a controversial poem titled “How to Behead” written by a British Islamic radical woman. They called for poetic responses. Here’s mine:

Let go
Open your arms to the world
And soften your heart
Just enough
Open your eyes
So that you won’t hesitate as much
For on seeing the suffering of the world
You’ll begin to shake
And cry for your brothers and sisters
And weep for the children
Trust me–this will sure get you angry
It’s better to have at least two or three others by your side
Who can see the truth
Because as soon as you open your eyes
And see the naked world
You’ll come to know what needs to happen
It’s not as messy or as hard as some may think,
It’s all about seeing yourself in others.
No doubt the haters will twitch and scream
But ignore the ignorant
And continue to serve humanity
You’ll feel yourself hit
The wall of denial
But don’t stop
Continue with all your might.
About now you should feel
your heart murmur
You can feel the warm heat of love
This is due to seeing the truth of others as yourself.

May all beings everywhere feel peace and love in their hearts.