Monday, February 09, 2009

A Sweet New Book About American Slavery

Okay, even though I just slammed the whole concept of Black History Month, I'm so excited about this new book that just came out, just in time for BHM.

The book is called Sugar of the Crop: My Journey to Find the Children of Slaves by Sana Butler. As the subtitle would suggest, the book details the author's ten-year journey to find the last living children of slaves, interview them and tell their story. I admit I'm only on page 12, but I'm loving the book already. It almost reads like a historical memoir because Butler doesn't remove herself from the story. In fact, she plays a central role explaining how people laughed at her when she admitted she was looking for living children of slaves, how this epic journey swallowed up a decade of her life with serious repercussions professionally and personally, and how watching her own father slowly dying as she made this quest, fueled her passion to complete the book.

What I like about this book, from a BHM perspective, is that it allows Black people to speak for themselves about the role they played in American history. What's more, by hearing first-hand accounts from people who survived and even thrived despite the cruelty of human bondage shows a far more nuanced and truthful depiction of the "Black experience." Not to say that slavery had its good parts, but Butler admits she's going on this journey to discover, "how slaves became husbands and wives; mothers and fathers and how they raised their children." And we need to hear those stories. We all need to hear those stories. So I'm going to keep reading, thanking Butler for this amazing book she has created.

To hear Butler talk about her experience writing the book on North Carolina public radio, click here.


P.S. Our Opinion Poll Giveaway Winner is Nikeshia. Congrats! Send us an email to with a mailing address and you'll receive your copy of asha bandele's Something Like Beautiful. Thanks to everyone who responded. And I hope both Madonna and Angelina Jolie read The Meltingpot so they know how much support they have!

1 comment:

Carleen Brice said...

I feel you. The Denver Post is running an article (similar to the WaPo piece) I wrote for BHM. BTW, mentions you & your book again. Should run 2/22.

I say we use what we got, right?