Lawrence Hill The Book of Negroes

ISBN 13: 9780385616263

The Book of Negroes

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9780385616263: The Book of Negroes


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Based on a true story, "The Book of Negroes" tells the story of Aminata, a young girl abducted from her village in Mali aged 11 in 1755, and who, after a deathly journey on a slave ship where she witnesses the brutal repression of a slave revolt, is sold to a plantation owner in South Carolina, who rapes her. She is brought to New York, where she escapes her owner, and finds herself helping the British by recording all the freed slaves on the British side in the Revolutionary War in The Book of Negroes (a real historical document that can be found today at the National Archives at Kew).Aminata is sent to Nova Scotia to start a new life, but finds more hostility, oppression and tragedy. Separated from her one true love, and suffering the unimaginable loss of both her children who are taken away from her, she eventually joins a group of freed slaves on a harrowing odyssey back to Africa, and ends up in London as a living icon for Wilberforce and the other Abolitionists. "The Book of Negroes" is a pageturning narrative that manages to use Aminata's heart-rending personal story to bring to life a harrowing chapter in our history.


Abducted from her village in Mali at the age of eleven in 1755, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom – and of finding her way home again. After a brutal journey on a slave ship, she is sold to a plantation owner in the American South, where, in spite of abject abuse and repression, she learns to read and write. Some years later, torn from her husband and child, she finds herself in Manhattan in the chaos of the Revolutionary War on the side of the British, and helps pen The Book of Negroes. This book (an actual document held in the National Archives at Kew) is a list of freed blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. But when Aminata reaches the promised haven, she finds a life of even more hardship, stinging prejudice and loss. Eventually, she joins a group of freed slaves on a harrowing return odyssey to Africa. After six decades, she ends her epic journey in London, a living icon for Wilberforce’s abolitionist cause. The Book of Negroes is a captivating historical narrative that brings to life a dark and shameful chapter in our history through the story of one brave and resourceful woman.

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