The Book Of Negroes By Lawrence Hill Essay example

1233 Words 5 Pages
The slave trade brought about the devastation of entire African communities; who lost their history and unique way of life, with every branded slave. However, it also created much difficulty for those who wished to maintain their culture outside of their native land. Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes reveals the struggles that slaves faced in colonial lands through Aminata’s experiences, as she strives to remain true to her religion, family, and childhood ambitions.
First off, Aminata struggles to retain her belief in religion, both as a slave and as a free person. Aminata’s journey to a boat bound for the Americas creates difficulties with regard to her religious practices. The crescent moons carved into her cheeks identify her as a Muslim, and she initially tries her best to observe her father’s religion. She recounts the notability of Islam in her village, and after her capture tries to find solace in prayer. However, Aminata learns that much like her freedom; her ability to practice her religion lies in the hands of her captors. Aminata depicts the attitude her captors have towards her praying, when she reports, “I stood to pray. […] I placed my right hand over left and began to say Subhaana ala huuma wa bihamdika, but I got no further. A captor came and struck me with his stick and ordered me back onto the ground” (33). Night after night, Aminata is beaten for trying to pray, until she finally gives up. Hill uses the prayers and beatings as a metaphor to illustrate…

Related Documents