Someone Knows my Name…

I am in the middle of reading this wonderfully painful book titled Someone knows my name by Lawrence Hill. This book is a fiction based on a historic document called ‘The book of Negros,’ which lists over three thousand names of black loyalist to the British who were relocated to Nova Scotia, Canada.

This story shatters my heart into tiny pieces because I feel so connected to the story. Although I was born so far removed from the days of slavery, the effects of slavery still haunt black Americans today. Does slavery still happen today? Yes. Does discrimination affect those today? No doubt.  I cannot make any moves without having the injustices of the world in my face and it hurts me to see that time has passed but we have not evolved and learned from our mistakes. Why is it so hard for people to accept others’ differences? How is it that the past is forgotten when trying to put other down? Oh, blacks are poor, illiterate, thieves, liars, etc. First of all, not all of a group are the same. Second, look at history; we were not granted the luxury to have nice things because we were once considered property; we were forbidden from learning to read and write and those who did learn were so scared that they didn’t dare share their knowledge with others. Once freed, we had to steal to survive; we lied so that we could live. Everything that has happened to us since being taken from our home has led to this moment. But we, as a nation, community, human beings, cannot reverse the scars until we acknowledge how we became to have those scars.

I feel so much pain because as I try to piece together my family tree, I am stopped in my tracks because my ancestors were not listed by name but by inaccurate age and owner. Yes, slavery is over but I will forever be affected by the sins of our past. No matter how far we get from the days when there was a dollar value on my ancestors, I will never know who some of my ancestors were and what they did. No amount of DNA testing will trace me back to the Africa tribe my ancestors were taken from. I speak from my own view but black Americans are not the only ones. How is it that some people feel they can claim right to other human beings or the land other human beings are occupying? How is it that so many people blindly followed and lived in fear of people just like them but only slightly different?

There are so many questions that will be left unanswered because honesty is not one of this world’s best qualities. But I have yet to finish the novel and I fear there is more that I will be writing about later…

Until the novel ends…


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