Mr. Smith captures the 200 and 300-year-old questions that linger on the trees and the grounds where enslaved children undoubtedly escaped from the powerful and unrelenting sun.
A history lesson with a strong, compassionate narrative connecting the past to the now.
This was an amazing book and beautifully written. When the author describes a scene, you feel as if you are there with him.
Invaluable resource! So much gratitude to Clint Smith for filling the void of an educational system that taught to me to only see a sliver of the truth and not the whole. The story of America, for a young country and its place in the world, is complex but needs to be understood from all the voices.
Wonderful depiction of important history that many may not be aware of. Deep, disturbing and profound. The narrator was outstanding! Because as he was also the author, he fully understood what was needed and how it must be done to move his readers.
Book reviews inherently reflect the likes and dislikes of the reviewer; I’m sure my review will be no different. Overall, I liked the book. I learned a lot about early American social history, and the role that chattel slavery played in our becoming a nation as well as the development of our nationality. Most of the interviews and physical descriptions of the slave economy were very revealing, as their substance certainly was not part of my formal education. The book ‘takes the reader there’ to witness and in many cases to relive the the moments being described. In this regard, the book was fascinating and revealing. The author, being Black himself, was able to put me, a White male, behind his eyes and into his mind as he painted scene after scene of the struggles and inequities endured by those bound by slavery. The accomplishments made by many people despite unimaginable hardships were fascinating to learn. However, as my interest in the book’s title was my reason to read it, I got the feeling as the read continued that I was reading a personal manifesto of sorts and not just a historical presentation. This I was not expecting. Mr. Smith’s reading gave me some inflectional challenges as his voice ‘drops off’ at the ends of his sentences. All-in-all it was a very good read. I learned a lot I didn’t know, and last I knew, a main purpose of reading is to expand one’s knowledge and experience, and this book certainly does not disappoint.
Excellent book. The writing is beautiful. And the sites he reports on give another layer of understanding to the story of African Americans in the United States.