Archive for the ‘abused women’ Tag
The year – 1964.
The location – South Carolina.
The politics – African Americans are given the right to vote.
Sue Monk Kidd’s (2002) novel, The Secret Life of Bees, tells the story of Lily Owens, a young girl who seems to remember murdering her mother. On her personal quest to find out all she can about her mother, and in an attempt to get away from an abusive father, she runs away with Rosaleen, the family housekeeper, and serendipitously discovers the home her mother had run away to years earlier.
This is the story of a child wanting a mother, but underlying that story is another of the complicated relationships between women of different races at a time and in a place when racism was the norm. It is a story about women helping women.
Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes is an important read for anyone wanting to know more about the history of the slave trade. Spanning the years 1745 to 1802, it tells the tale of Aminata Diallo, a woman who was abducted as a child by slave traders from her tribal home in the interior of Africa. Aminata survives the incomprehensible – the madness of individuals who plucked people from their homes, subjected them to treatment not normally accepted for animals, and sold them for financial gain. Through all of this Aminata learned to read and became a scribe, a midwife, and later a storyteller. She is a strong character and a strong voice for freedom.
Perhaps because this book read like a life story, I found it did not keep me rivetted and I often wanted to put it down to take a break from reading about the cruelties that people are capable of inflicting on each other. While reading The Book of Negroes I thought often about Austen Clarke’s The Polished Hoe which was set in Barbados as opposed to Africa, America, and England. It too featured a strong female and ‘discussed’ the slave trade but something about Clarke’s story made it difficult for me to put the book down. I would recommend both of these books to anyone interested in the history of slavery.
Hill’s book includes a valuable list of the resources he used for his research at the back of the book.
Trottier, Maxine, illustrated by Judith Friedman. A Safe Place. 1997. Morton Grove, Illinois: Albert Whiteman & Company. ISBN 0-8075-7212-8. Call # jP TRO
Children up to 7 years. A first information book.
A very sad but important book about a mother and daughter who find their way to a shelter for abused women.