She said it again, “I’m tired.”
She wanted me to tell her it was all right, to get her spirit and go on, but I couldn’t say it. I told her, “Course you’re tired. You worked hard your whole life. That’s all you did was work.”
“Don’t you remember me for that. Don’t you remember I’m a slave and work hard. When you think of me, you say, she never belong to those people. She never belong to nobody but herself.”
She closed her eyes. “You remember that.”
“I will, mauma.”
A raw account of slavery and the struggle for abolition. I’ve always been interested in this era of history, and this amazing novel further sparked and quenched my curiosity at the same time. It also delves into other social issues, such as the emergence of women’s rights, and the tension between the different denominations of the church. From two different lenses – “Handful”, the house slave, and her owner, Sarah, the girl who would eventually grow up to become one of America’s first female abolitionists, a poignant and very real picture of the era is painted for the reader.
Is it any wonder that the book elicited tears from me – twice?
“There was a time in Africa the people could fly. Mauma told me this one night when I was ten years old. She said, “Handful, your granny-mauma saw it for herself. She say they flew over trees and clouds. She say they flew like blackbirds. When we came here, we left that magic behind.”