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Literature / The Book of Negroes

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The Book of Negroes is a 2007 novel by Lawrence Hill about a young African girl named Aminata who is taken as a slave and her struggle for freedom.

Released in several countries (including the United States) under the title Someone Knows My Name, because apparently publishers were hesitant about releasing a book with the word "Negro" in the title. A miniseries was produced in 2015 and aired on CBC and BET.


Tropes used in this book:

  • Anti-Villain: Solomon Lindo is a Type IV. Aminata acknowledges that he is a good man at heart, but he can't see that the system of slavery corrupts him for as long as he participates in it.
  • Anyone Can Die: Except for Aminata, of course.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Aminata often points out that her attractiveness was more of a curse than a blessing.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Aminata. Sometimes circumstances make her a Servile Snarker.
  • Hannibal Lecture: A slave trader in Sierra Leone gives one to Aminata near the end.
    Armstrong: Has the colony of Freetown produced a single export? Where is the sugar cane? Where is the Coffee? Are you exporting boatloads of elephant teeth or camwood? You're not even growing corn, or rice. You have no farms under cultivation. You aren't even self-sufficient. There is no profit in benevolence, none. The colony in Freetown is child's play, financed by the deep pockets of rich abolitionists who don't know a thing about Africa.
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  • Heel–Face Turn: Solomon Lindo ends up pulling one of these when he comes to New York at the end of the war just to give Aminata her freedom and defend her from Appleby.
  • I Will Wait for You: Aminata does this no fewer than three times for Chekura. The third time, he turns out to be dead.

Alternative Title(s): Someone Knows My Name