Caledon Public Library is celebrating Black History Month by recommending the following books:
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and winner of the 2018 Scotiabank Giller Prize, Washington Black is an epic adventure and a heartfelt tale of love and morality.
George Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When Titch Wilde, a naturalist, scientist and inventor chooses him to be his manservant for his latest project; the building of a “Cloud-cutter”, Wash finds a new life of dignity and meaning. Titch teaches Wash to read, and nurtures his gift for scientific thought and illustration. The bond between them continues after they leave the plantation and journey together, traveling up the east coast of the U.S., into Canada and eventually, to a remote outpost in the Arctic. Titch, in search of his father, makes a discovery that causes him to leave Wash behind, stranded in the Arctic. Wash eventually finds his way south and the continuing chronicle of his amazing life unfolds.
In Washington Black, Edugyan portrays a unique view of slavery. She creates a character whose life is shaped by imagination, intelligence and sensibility. Wash’s physical scars from the past keep him moving in search of some distant and sorrowful notion of home. Despite the wonders he experiences, his restless mind is constantly striving for freedom from the fear that is so deeply rooted and fully real.
Below are more suggested readings for February: