Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Roots by Alex Haley. Week #3 of the summer Read-A-Long

Roots by Alex Haley.
Read-A-Long Week #3

Pages Read:  201-301
Chapters Read:  35-47

This post is a day late due to the 4th of July holiday.  Hope you all had a fun, firework filled weekend.

Note:  I am reading ROOTS in honor of my former student Quincy Blue who was recently found murdered, his body burned beyond recognition, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Kunta is 17 rains during this section of the book and is enduring The Middle Passage across the Atlantic Ocean.  The journey across the ocean from Africa to the Americas lasts about 5 months and is called The Middle Passage.  It is a horrible trip for the slaves and ship crew alike with many people dying on the journey.  The slaves are chained below the deck on a wooden plank that is about the size of 6 feet by 1 foot.  The men are forced to lie down and endure the horrific smells, the hot space and seasickness.  Their are no bathrooms and disease, rats and lice abound.  The men are beaten and wounds become quickly infected and painful.  It is a wonder that any man (slave) survived this horrific journey. 

The women are kept above deck and are used by the sailors night after night.  The women are amazing because when the African men come up to the deck to be scrubbed clean and exercised the women sing to them, and secretly tell what is happening on the boat above deck.  Kunta continues to hold on to his faith to Allah and remains strong in spirit despite how weak his body becomes.

Eventually Kunta's ship arrives in port and Kunta is kept in a hold for 7 days before being sold. The whole time the author keeps the reader in the dark about where Kunta is in America and Kunta remains strong in spirit as his body continues to take many beatings and injuries.  Kunta refuses to be tamed or treated like an animal and continually runs away.  I only wish he wouldn't get caught.

Kunta has a very strong sense of smell and can smell humans and tell them apart.   He can see what part of the blacks is still African even though they have forgotten where they come from and this saddens him.  Kunta faces racism from his black peers who view him as a African animal straight from the trees.  Their ignorance is plain and soon Kunta receives a new name from his master:  Toby. 

The year is 1765.  State unknown.

These are the bloggers/readers participating in the Read-A-Long.  Please visit them and comment.  Also if you are participating and want to be included on this list, please comment and I will add a link to your blog.
Thanks everyone for participating.

1.  Bre from Booksnob Wannabe
2.  Sherrie from Just Books
3.  Michelle from Truebookaddict
4.  Laurie from Whatsheread

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