Published by PublicAffairs on June 12th 2018
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“They not only wanted to abolish slavery, they wanted a better nation, a nation free of prejudice, a nation where all were equal. And so, they started with themselves and their school, hoping that they could lead their nation by example, showing the way forward on the frontier.”
This book is meaty. There is a lot of information packed into the pages. That makes this book heavy. So be warned. I am not warning anyone off from the book – just prepare yourself to learn a lot. There is so much presented in this book that was not taught in school. Although, I am not surprised by any of the violence, nevertheless, some of the subject matter is shocking. Hatred is such an ugly thing. Ignorance is Ugly. Prejudice is ugly. It’s all here. But what is also here is courage, strength, determination and hope.
Again, there is so much that we are not taught in school, and I get that. There is only so much time which is why books such as this one are important, so we can educate ourselves. I will be honest, I knew nothing about freed slaves and/or escaped slaves being pioneers of the west. I knew they went north – it never occurred to me that they went west. I certainly learned a lot from this book-there is so information to take in – but in a good way.
“They used their position as free homesteading pioneers across this portion of the nation to assert their rights and push for change. As their numbers, their farms, and their communities grew, they refused to lie low, forcing an unavoidable conversation about equality, citizenship, and freedom.”
There are a lot of personal stories told in this book. I hoped that these sections would have been longer. The stories are used to show the day to day struggles and opposition that never let up for those searching for a better life. Black Pioneers shocked those who tried to keep them down by building successful communities, churches, schools and businesses.
“We inform our opposers that we are coming – coming for our rights-coming through the constitution of our common country-coming through the law- and relying upon God and the justice of our cause, pledge ourselves never to cease our resistance to tyranny, whether it be in the iron manacles of the slave, or in the unjust written manacles for the free.”
This is a history book with a lot of information. The Author did a tremendous amount of research and it showed. American History buffs this is the book for you! This book is well written, informative, moving, and educational.
Thank you to Perseus Books, PublicAffairs and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.