May 26, 2014
Book of Negroes Literary/ Research Essay
Aminata's wide experience is crucial for the abolitionist movement, her unique knowledge and skills resulted to a vast field of experiences of the heartless African slavery. Her skills and knowledge that she got from her parents made a huge role on her survival that brought her to a unique experience of slavery. She grew up with the influence of a strong mother and a knowledgable father."Mama is strong… Beauty comes and goes. Strength you keep forever."(19). They shaped Aminata to grow strong and intellectual.This let Aminata develop skills and abilities that was then crucial for her survival. Aminita is a strong weapon to the abolitionist movement firstly because she is skilled enough to share and explain herself. Secondly the unmeasurable pain she experienced and witnessed. From the moment she was taken and got her parents killed, her hellish life until sometime before she died. Lastly, her determination. Aminata fought through the struggles life has thrown at her. As she live most of her life in slavery, Aminata pursue and learned. She was a special slave that made her encounter countless acts of slavery throughout her life. These characteristics and experiences Aminata have are important for the movement. "We need you, Meena. The abolitionist movement needs you. We need your story we need your voice"(425).
Aminata's skills and unique abilities she developed in her life made her see different perspectives. With these she can express the feelings and hardships African slaves had been through. She had seen and been part of countless of problems of different characters. From slaves, owners, friends, parents, and herself. The ability to catch babies made Aminata encounter different African women. Aminata's ability to catch baby comes from her mother. Her mother took her when she was catching babies and was then taught.
"... my mother taught me how to reach inside a woman after coating my hand
with warm oil and to touch in the right spot to tell if the door was suitably wide. I became adept at that, and Mama said it was good to have me along because my hands were so small.(15) This ability turned out to be a lifesaver for Aminata. It made her useful enough for her life to be spared. It is a very important skill that she have, as important as her ability to speak different languages. She was able to speak Fulfude, Bamanankan, butit doesn't stop there because Aminata is a fast learner. "I have never seen someone from Africa learn so fast."(143) says Georgia, Aminata's accompany at Appleby. Aminata learned how to speak buckra with the help of Georgia. Aminata's skill had lift her importance as a slave which led for her to be taken by Lindo Solomon. Lindo had owned Aminata because she caught his attention with her talent and potential. Lindo educated Aminata about the monetary system. The potential of Aminata that amazed the owners just shows how African people doesn't look at them human like, but as animals who isn't capable of anything. With Aminata seeing different people's struggles because of her talent, she can narrate their stories and show how torturous slavery is.
The unfairness and discrimination Aminata experienced and witnessed shows the importance of her to the abolitionists. With her ability to translate, she was asked to work for the toubabu when she was in the slave ship being transported to South Carolina. Doing her job, she witnessed the pain, hunger, thirst, molestation, the abuse and deaths of her fellow slaves. " I watch the toubabu throw the dead homelanders over-board. Over screeching protests, they also grabbed the badly wounded homelanders went overboard, they cried out again. " (106) When Aminata arrived at South Carolina, the slavery didn't stopped but became worst for her. She was put in to work at an indigo plantation owned by Robinson Appleby. Unlike the...
Cited: Hill, Lawrence. The Book of Negroes. Toronto: HarperCollins Publisher Ltd, 2007.
Nhuyen, Michael. "ENG4U Presentation (The Book of Negroes)" Prezi.com
Nhuyen, Michael. "The Book of Negroes Characters and Quotes" Prezi.com
Heather "D is for Aminata Diallo, Heroine of The Book of Negroes" epochtales.blogspot.ca, Thursday January 21, 2010
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