Monday, July 5, 2010
Copper Sun By: Sharon Draper
This book was about slavery, but in a different light than I had ever read about it. The story starts in Africa and talking about tribal traditions. The main character, Amari, bumped into the boy, Besa, that she was betrothed to. She was flirty and nervous in love. The setting in Africa sounds so beautiful and the way the tribe takes care of each other. Amari made mention of how all the women in the tribes were mothers to all of the children and helped them all out whenever they needed it. There was such a strong unity and bond in the African tribe. All is well and good until white men were escorted into their camp with another tribe and the Ewe (Amari's tribe) welcomed them with open arms, fed them, and danced for them, and not a few minutes later, the white men started shooting. Amari loses her family and is chained and escorted away with the other survivors.
She has no idea what is going on and is often humiliated and touched in wrong places like she was a piece of meat. There is a long account of how they traveled from Africa in a horrible boat to the "colonies" (US). The boat trip alone was enough to make you literally sick to your stomach. Amari and the other women were raped on a nightly basis, while the men were crammed into the bottom of the boat on top of each other and in their own bodily fluids. Some, who were "lucky" jumped ship and 'disappeared' as gray-finned animals came and created a pool of blood (they were eaten by sharks).
When they finally arrive in the colonies, they are auctioned off where Amari was forced to leave the only people she started to know. She was sent to the Derbyshire farms as a birthday present for the 16 year old boy of the house. She was under an indentured white gal, Polly, who was supposed to 'civilize' her. As the story goes on Polly and Amari become close and learn much about each other and their races. There are lots of tragedies and things that will make you want to stop reading and just cry, but there is a good ending as well.
This book did a great job in depicting the whole process of slavery, starting in Africa. It is a horrible fact that these things actually happened, but it is something that young people should be aware of so that history does not ever repeat itself. I recommend this book!