The Book of Negroes

There is an app that you can download to your Android device (not sure of Iphone) that gives you a summarized version of the Book of Negroes book series that is on Hulu. The Book of Negroes is a story by The Canadian novelist Lawrence Hill. He wrote The Book of Negroes  that was in 2007, published in the United States as Someone Knows My Name (there was controversy in the U.S. about using a title with the word “negro” in it). It is inspired by the African Americans who were resettled in Nova Scotia, and some of them who later chose to go to Sierra Leone, where they created a colony of freedmen in Africa. He features Aminata, a young African woman captured as a child; she is literate and acts as a scribe to record the information about the former slaves. Those who founded Sierra Leone have been described as settlers who “brought America to Africa”. The book won the top 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

I watched the entire series, and it is disturbing but not as gruesome as other movies about slavery I have seen like 12 years A Slave or other movies that show the lynching and hanging of black men and women.

It is a very interesting and engrossing historical account about the beginning of slavery all the way to the abolishment of it. 

Lawrence Hill wrote: “I used The Book of Negroes as the title for my novel, in Canada, because it derives from a historical document of the same name kept by British naval officers at the tail end of the American Revolutionary War. It documents the 3,000 blacks who had served the King in the war and were fleeing Manhattan for Canada in 1783. Unless you were in The Book of Negroes, you couldn’t escape to Canada. My character, an African woman named Aminata Diallo whose story is based on this history, has to get into the book before she gets out. In my country, few people have complained to me about the title, and nobody continues to do so after I explain its historical origins. I think it’s partly because the word ‘Negro’ resonates differently in Canada. If you use it in Toronto or Montreal, you are probably just indicating publicly that you are out of touch with how people speak these days. But if you use it in Brooklyn or Boston, you are speaking in a deeply offensive manner if you were to use such words. When I began touring with the novel in some of the major US cities, literary African-Americans kept approaching me and telling me it was a good thing indeed that the title had changed, because they would never have touched the book with its Canadian title.”


Check this out on Hulu or Amazon Video or just download the Book of Negroes app to your phone and watch clips and read this riveting story.  (link to the app below)

Image result for the book of negroes


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