The Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes

DVD - 2015
Average Rating:
8
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A universal story of loss, courage and triumph, this recounts the extraordinary journey of Aminata Diallo, an indomitable African woman who survives in a world in which everything seems to be against her. Kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa then sold into slavery in South Carolina, Aminata navigates her way through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia, and the treacherous jungles of Sierra Leone, before finally securing her freedom in England.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : [Publisher not identified], [2015]
Characteristics: 3 videodiscs (265 min.) :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in.
digital, optical, rda
video file, DVD video, region 1, rda

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n
Nooksack20
Oct 20, 2016

This story is consistent with the popular genre of, more often than not, fictional mistreatment of all blacks in the U.S. The book was far better.

d
DAINTYDORA
Oct 06, 2015

Worth the watch!!! Watched every episode and was hooked.

b
breemu
Oct 06, 2015

The book was 1000X better. I barely made it through the first of the three discs it was that awful/boring, I took it back without bothering to watch the rest.

susienor Sep 10, 2015

I was puzzled by this series, so I rolled up my sleeves and did some serious research. The British did not help escaped slaves out of the goodness of their hearts. Remember: they only got rid of slavery in 1833; Wilberforce 1807 Act merely abolished TRADE in the British Empire. So they were out to strike a blow against the economic heart of the revolting Colony.
The fictional character Amiata seems—very—loosely inspired by Phillis Wheatley. The “famous African Poetess,” became a slave at 7, was educated by her owner’s wife, Susanna Wheatley (Greek, Latin, English Literature). In 1775 she sent Washington an ode she wrote to him. His very elegant answer was addressed to Mrs. Phillis, very unusual way to address a slave at the time. He invited her to visit him in Headquarters, and signed “Your obedt humble servant.” Phillis was sent to England for health reasons—something unheard of at the time. After Mrs. Wheatley’s death she was freed and married John Peters, who "wore a wig, carried a cane, and quite acted out 'the gentleman,'"; Peters kept a grocery store, among other later occupations. Several famous white colonials (Thomas Hutchinson, John Hancock, Andrew Oliver, James Bowdoin, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Washinton and Reverend Mather Byles) were supporters of her publication of “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.”
I found no record of Washington saying that “slaves fighting on his side would remain slaves after the war.” His dislike for the institution of slavery is well documented. Letter to John Francis Mercer, 1786): "[I]t being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by the legislature by which slavery in this Country may be abolished by slow, sure, & imperceptable degrees." To Robert Morris, 1786: "I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of [slavery]—but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, & that is by Legislative authority: and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting.” His support for the Marquis de Lafayette’s plan to emancipate and resettle slaves is well known. His slave William Lee, who served him during the American Revolution, was freed in his will. A few years before his death, Washington tried to rent some of his farms to "good farmers" from England or Scotland. He believed many of his slaves "might be hired by the year as labourers" (letter to Arthur Young, 1793). From Wikipedia: “As Washington's slaves had intermarried with his wife's dower slaves, he included a provision in his will to free his slaves upon her death, to postpone any breakup of their families, when her dower slaves would be returned or managed by her heirs. […] The will called for the ex-slaves to be provided for by Washington's heirs, with the elderly ones to be clothed and fed, and the younger ones to be educated and trained at an occupation so they could support themselves. Martha Washington freed her husband's slaves within 12 months of his death and allowed them to stay at Mount Vernon if they had family members. […] The major reason Washington did not emancipate his slaves after the 1782 law and prior to his death was because of the financial costs involved.”
“He did not speak out publicly against slavery, because he did not wish to risk splitting apart the young republic over what was already a sensitive and divisive issue.” (“That species of property” by Dorothy Twohig, in George Washington Reconsidered)

teddypawz Sep 08, 2015

Worth 5+ stars! The historical account of "The Book of Negroes" is sad and triumphant, to say the least. The acting was phenomenal across the board. A must see for everyone.

s
shaylae
Jul 11, 2015

Every bit as amazing as the book. So well done!

v
voisjoe1_0
Jun 16, 2015

The title, The Book of Negroes, comes from a historical document developed by the British at the time of the American Revolution. The Book contained the names of thousands of American slaves who fought on the side of the British against the American rebels. Those named were given asylum and free transportation to freedom in Canada. While the British agreed to free any slave fighting for them, George Washington, an owner of hundreds of slaves, refused such an agreement saying that any slaves fighting on his side would remain slaves after the war. Aunjanue Ellis, portraying the slave, Aminata Diallo, and Cuba Gooding, Jr., portraying a New York freedman, were outstanding in this 265 minute mini-series.

d2013 May 13, 2015

What I loved about Aminata Diallo, besides her beautiful strong name that she wore so proudly was her resilience and her determination, even when everything seemed against her. The series was an excellent one and did justice to this wonderfully written book.

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