Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Come August, Come Freedom by Gigi Amateau - ESSENTIAL

Amateau, Gigi Come August, Come Freedom: the Bellows, the Gallows, and the Black General Gabriel, 231 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2012. $16.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature  Content: PG; Violence: PG.  

This is the true story of Gabriel Prosser, a man born into slavery in 1776 in Virginia.  He is brought up as a playmate to his master’s son.  Thus, he learns to read and write along with the white boy. As a young man, he is sent to Richmond with his brother to learn blacksmithing from Jacob Kent.  Because he is educated, he understands all the talk of liberty and what “all men are created equal” means.  His soul yearns to be free.  With the blessing of his strong wife, Nanny, he prepares to lead a rebellion against the white slave owners under the inspiration of Toussaint’s successful rebellion in Haiti. 

The title of the book leaves no surprise how his story ends. The man, Gabriel, becomes real with the skillful writing of Amateau. The book inspires one to learn more about the life of this obscure hero.  The author enriched this story by adding in real document s of this era pertaining to the slave, Gabriel. It would be a great read for any history class or for discussions on slavery, courage, injustice, treachery, etc. 


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