Top positive review
This book sears the conscience!
Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2018
This book sears the soul. I am reading it aloud to my children and at various points find myself choked up by the raw emotion it evokes. It is unfathomable that black slaves were treated with such a degree of disdain and hatred because of white colonists love of the almighty dollar. That whites would literally rip the strongest black man they owned into two after tarring and feathering him, tie his appendages to two separately facing horses, and whip the horses until they ran in opposite directions should make us all weep.
It takes a great deal of grace not to feel revulsion when I look at whites after reading such accounts of what their ancestors did, especially in light of the racially charged climate we live in today, with the hateful rhetoric being spewed from the Oval Office on a daily basis. I know better than to allow my heart to close and isolate myself from engaging with those who don't look like me. I have friends who are white with good natures, but it seems there is always a point that just can’t be crossed because of a lack of understanding or maybe refusal to acknowledge this part of their history because it is entirely uncomfortable to confront the pain of another when you have no real solutions to assuage that pain.
Irregardless, real conversations need to be had about the depth of the pain and suffering white America has inflicted on people of color and not brush it aside as if it were just another blip in the series of other great historical events. The division and psychological trauma inflicted on blacks is still felt today despite the chains of bondage being shed physically.
I am determined to teach my children the whole of American history, not just about Columbus sailing to America. Who gives a doggone?? His sailing to America is what also brought slavery to her ports. That is not celebrated! History is always told from the perspective of the ruling class and here in America that happens to be form a white vantage point, thus it is whitewashed to omit more salient details such as the atrocities of Christopher Columbus.
I am hopeful this rising generation will be agents of change because they seem less fixated on what divides us, but make no mistake, even progress does not mean eradication-race will always play a part in how we see others because if is such a blatantly obvious distinguishing characteristic-even when we say it doesn’t. This book should be mandatory high school reading so the depth of the racial divisions can be put into context both between whites and blacks, as well as fair-complexioned blacks and darker-complexioned blacks.
It takes a determined resolve, books like this one, dialogue, and supporting and striving to understand one another to make real change. I am grateful for the knowledge this book imparts despite the horrific and barbaric pattern of behavior demonstrated by white Americans who perpetuated and profited from slavery. It has enlightened me even the more and reminds me that only the strongest slaves survived the atrocities of slavery, and I proudly descend from their bloodline.