Book: The Book of Negroes
Author: Lawrence Hill
Pages read: 44-68
Aminata Diallo, the main character, has been kidnapped along with so many others from villages around hers. They were then put onto boats and brought across a vast body of water. This reminded me of the advice Aminata gave in the first chapter, “do not trust large bodies of water, and do not pass them.” It’s not difficult to see what she was referring to. What I really found interesting though, is how Chekura (a boy she met along the way) had told her she’s lucky to be sold to the toubabu. Because the things that would happen to the one’s left behind, are far worse. It’s kind of like the lesser of two evils, you know?
Later on, Aminata wonders why the toubabu would go through all this trouble to have them work on their land, “surely they could gather their own mangoes and pound their own millet.” After reading that, I couldn’t stop thinking about how true that really is. I will never, ever understand slavery in the slightest bit. No one should. It’s disgusting and cruel, and unnecessary. To me, it’s sickening to think about. I found that she had a good point, put so simply.
The first time the word “toubab” is used, Aminata is asking about a man who joined their captors, “is he a man or an evil spirit?” Even though I was unsure what a toubab actually is, I imagined it’s something more on the negative side. By continuing to read, I learned that toubab is the name which the captors refer to the men they’re about to be sold to. Then, I looked it up, and a web definition I found was: “Toubab” is a Central and West African name for a person of European descent (“whites”).