"You feel you are turning the pages of history, the pages of truth."―Austin Clarke, author of The Polished Hoe Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom―and of the knowledge she needs to get home. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. There Aminata finds a life of hardship and stinging prejudice. When the British abolitionists come looking for "adventurers" to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public. This captivating story of one woman's remarkable experience spans six decades and three continents and brings to life a crucial chapter in world history.
Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves— Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes.” This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own.Aminata’s eventual return to Sierra Leone—passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America—is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. Lawrence Hill is a master at transforming the neglected corners of history into brilliant imaginings, as engaging and revealing as only the best historical fiction can be. A sweeping story that transports the reader from a tribal African village to a plantation in the southern United States, from the teeming Halifax docks to the manor houses of London, The Book of Negroes introduces one of the strongest female characters in recent Canadian fiction, one who cuts a swath through a world hostile to her colour and her sex.
The history and terror of black slavery has been well documented in literature and film. Lawrence Hill s new book doesn t lessen the awfulness of the times, but adds a unique human dimension. Hill has created an uplifting and highly educational story about a shameful part of history. The Book of Negroes is sold in the United States under the title, Someone Knows My Name. Aminata Diallo was born free in Africa in the eighteenth century. She had a rich and lovely childhood until the day she was captured by slave traders and marched off to the coast in chains. Along with thousands of others, Aminata was destined for North America as a slave to white owners. She was eleven years old. Hill tracks Aminata s story through the circle of her life. We travel with her to South Carolina, New York, Nova Scotia, London (England), and even to Freetown in Sierra Leone. Each step of the way, we learn about the horrors and immorality of slavery. As we look at and listen to these diminished people, we observe how they courageously work at overcoming the psychological hardships and limitations imposed by their imprisonment. Bookclub-in-a-Box discusses the different facets of this novel. Identity is an important part of the characters and the title of the book. The finger of blame and responsibility for the terrible tragedy of human slavery points in many directions. North American black history includes a look at Black Loyalists and their journey to Nova Scotia, Canada. Freetown, Sierra Leone was the creation of British Abolitionists who wanted to bring the slaves home to Africa. Every Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide includes complete coverage of the themes and symbols, writing style and interesting background information on the novel and the author.
From its first publication in 2007, Lawrence Hill's masterpiece, The Book of Negroes, has touched readers around the world with its unforgettable story. Now a six-part CBC mini-series starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Louis Gossett Jr., and Ben Chaplin, this beloved novel tells the story of Aminata, brilliantly played by Anajanue Ellis.Abducted as an eleven-year-old from her village in Africa and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata survives using midwifery skills learned at her mother’s side. When she has the chance to register her name in the “Book of Negroes,” a historic British military ledger, Aminata secures a spot on a ship sailing from Manhattan to Nova Scotia and eventually sails to Sierra Leone in a back-to-Africa odyssey inspired by historical events.The winner of numerous awards, The Book of Negroes has become a classic novel of hope, love, despair and survival like none other.
Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel is a major television miniseries airing on BET Networks.The Book of Negroes (based on the novel Someone Knows My Name) will be BET’s first miniseries. The star-studded production includes lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (Ray, The Help), Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men), Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. (A Raisin in the Sun, Boardwalk Empire), and features Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue), Jane Alexander (The Cider House Rules), and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line). Director and co-writer Clement Virgo is a feature film and television director (The Wire) who also serves as producer with executive producer Damon D’Oliveira (What We Have).In this “transporting” (Entertainment Weekly) and “heart-stopping” (Washington Post) work, Aminata Diallo, one of the strongest women characters in contemporary fiction, is kidnapped from Africa as a child and sold as a slave in South Carolina. Fleeing to Canada after the Revolutionary War, she escapes to attempt a new life in freedom.
Historical fiction winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Overall Book