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It’s (Black) History! — The Book of Negroes

“It’s (Black) History” time!

As you may already know, this week BET has been showing the miniseries, The Book of Negroes. This miniseries brought about much curiosity about the actual history behind it, so I decided to do a little research and save you some time!

A Little Bit About the Movie:
The miniseries is based on the book of the same name (in America it is Someone Knows My Name) by Lawrence Hill. The story centers around Aminata, an African girl who was taken from her home, brought to the Americans, and enslaved. She eventually learns to read and write, which laters allows her to write her own story and aid in abolition

Now, the book, entitled Book of Negroes, is actually a real historical document that was assembled by Samuel Birch. The book lists the names of 3,000 Africans who fled to British safety during the American Revolution. They wound up migrating to Nova Scotia, becoming the first group of Black Canadians. Some of the other Loyalists also migrated back to Sierre Leone, founding the Krio people. There is actually a British and American version of the book, due to the fact that both were created separately in the same time span. The American version is housed in the National Archives and the British version is in the National Archives of Great Britain. 

Image Credit: PBS

Click here to see the actual list of names.

It’s amazing how this dynamic portion of history has never been brought to most people’s attention until now. These people were brave enough to cross enemy lines and and risk capture, or even death, in order to gain freedom. They went on to found colonies, new groups of people, and prove that freedom was possible. Simply amazing.

Did you get to see the series? What are your thoughts on the story? Comment below!

Further Reading:
  • http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/africanns/BN.asp
  • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2h58.html
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Negroes
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nsenga-burton/the-book-of-negroes_b_6680242.html
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/bets-book-of-negroes-a-slavery-story-that-rushes-past-its-best-moments/2015/02/15/75bc0d54-b53a-11e4-aa05-1ce812b3fdd2_story.html

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