Reading, Listening, Watching - 09/14/20
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
There is a magic in this book, even as it chronicles the deep pain, suffering and injustice African people and their descendants (referred to as The Taskers or ones who task) were violently and brutally forced into at the hands of White owners, traders, and hunters (referred to as The Quality or the Low Whites). The hope and bravery, and often equal amounts of violence and cruelty, ome from the Underground and those agents who Conduct slaves North. The magic is in the transcendental abilities of Moses, the Underground’s code name for Harriet Tubman, and Hiram, the main protagonist, as they use the forces of memory and the deep ties of family and history in Conduction. To share much more is to take away from the experience of reading the story for the first time.
The writing is as beautiful as the strength and resilience of those whose injustices the story tells. Yes, this is a work of fiction. But the stories of The Taskers - the slaves torn from their homeland and sold, and re-sold “up Natchez way”, as property - are real. We need to read this - to ingest and internalize this history, so as to recognize the brutal history on which the issues and challenges of today are built on.
These are book reviews that may offer you more insight, if you prefer. Otherwise, immerse yourself in the lyrical writing from Coates and the stories of The Taskers.
National Public Radio: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/26/764373265/in-the-water-dancer-memory-is-the-path-to-freedom
I welcome heating your thoughts, questions, ponderings, or insights if you add this book to your list of read.