In this verse novel, the Weatherfords conjure the voices of their ancestors and speak to them and through them with their art. Seeking answers to key questions: “At what age is hope born, when does resistance first rise up, and when do dreams wither” (22-23), the mother/son pair tells a moving story of their family tree. Their goal is to give voice to their African-American ancestors who were “marginalized, muted, or muzzled” as they tilled fields into fortune for their white enslavers. With an inner fiber as strong as iron, these resilient humans remained resistant to slavery and its efforts to strip their dignity.
Honoring their past, the Weatherfords trace a tribute to enslaved blacks while also revealing brutal truths about their ancestors’ trek to freedom. Readers learn about potentially tainted words in our National Anthem as well as the final removal of the “Talbot Boys” statue from outside a courthouse in Easton, Maryland.
Extensively researched, the book emerges like a blend of historical fiction and biography told through chilling yet hope-filled poetry.
- Posted by Donna