Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Book of Negroes

I just finished reading The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. It is about the life of a woman named Aminata Diallo, Meena. From her childhood to slavery and beyond. It is a work of fiction with some basis in reality.

The name of the book comes from the book the British and Americans used to record the names and information on Black Loyalists who left America after the Revolutionary War, The Book of Negroes.

I couldn't put the book down once I started reading it. It is well worth picking up.

One of the things it reminded me of is how much of our history gets shunted aside and ignored. We, Canadians, like poking at the Americans about slavery. "Blacks fled to Canada to escape slavery!" we will crow but we tend not to talk or hear about what blacks went through in Canada, then British North America, before and after the British abolished slavery. It wasn't all peaches, cream, and equality for the blacks who came here. That is something we should never forget.

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