I'm usually a bit late to the party in terms of reading best sellers. I usually don't jump and buy the latest book on the best sellers lists. What normally happens is that I start seeing a title in reviews that I read and lists that I receive. That happened this past year with the title The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I didn't read it even when Oprah added it to her book club.
I finished a book and was searching my local library catalog on my Overdrive app when I saw that The Underground Railroad was available. I downloaded it and fell in love with the book while reading the first chapter.
The book tells the saga of a slave girl named Cora and her struggles as she tries to escape to freedom. The author puts a twist on the concept of a "railroad" by having a physical train and rail that carries slaves underground. I want to watch his interview with Oprah to hear his reasoning for this.
I was excited that while I was reading this book, the author won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction!!
This year marked the 40th anniversary of the mini-series, Roots. Dr. T recorded it and we binge watched it. I was 13 when it came out, and while I know my parents watched it, I don't think I watched even one episode of it. We both loved it and with how polarized our country is today, I was able to have a better understanding of how divided the country was back then.
Watching the mini-series and reading this book--it was unnerving once again to realize how human beings have been treated in our country!! Although I have studied the antebellum era, it is always good for me to learn more to have a better understanding of how things really were. Our history isn't pretty and at times is hard to digest, but I'm a huge believer in the adage that "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." I hope and pray that as a country we can continue to move forward and that some day the color of a person's skin will not matter. I know we are not there yet, but it is a noble goal that through education can be accomplished. I truly believe that.
Although The Underground Railroad is a work of fiction-- it is historical fiction, and I highly recommend it.
I will do a future post on using the Overdrive app if anyone is interested!