Book of Negroes Review Pt.6 by Word Mason

The Book of Negroes Review Pt.6

 

From the Tablet Reviews: The Book of Negroes, Episode 6

Sometimes we are all put on earth and endure innumerable hardships for a reason. Along our journeys we acquire skills, take on experiences, and suffer great loss to the end of preparing us for the eventual great feats that we accomplish. We cry, we bleed, we sweat, we long, and we lose, but in the end we triumph. Even in that triumph, our work may be done,but the greater task is yet to be taken up by those that follow us. This is the story of the struggle for freedom for Africans since the first slaves were extracted by Europeans to Portugal in 1441, escalating to the first slave ship leaving the West Coast of Africa for the New World in 1501. Though slavery in the West as we know it ended in 1865 and was sealed in blood with the American Civil War, the struggle for freedom continues. Read more »

Book of Negroes Review Pt.5 by Word Mason

Book of Negroes Review Pt.5 by Word Mason

 

From the Tablet Reviews: The Book of Negroes, Episode 5

 

In Canada we pride ourselves on the strides forward that we have made in the fields of human rights, race relations, and gender equity. We have our charters, anti-discrimination laws, and committees promoting multiculturalism. We do this so much so that we often forget that historically, Canada has a terrible record for violence against non-Europeans. Many of these acts have been undertaken with utter impunity. When looking at Canada on the surface it is unthinkable that this great nation could ever be home to the slave trade, that the native population has and continues to experience economic and physical violence, or that Canada was the home of North America’s first recorded race riot. When studying history and trying to understand and explain it, it is important to approach it with an open mind. People rarely are the same as we remember them and as I mentioned in my last review, history is much deeper and far more nuanced than what we read on a page decades or even centuries after the event.

 

In this episode of CBC’s The Book of Negroes we travel with Aminata to the British colony of Nova Scotia. We follow her through the gauntlet of hardships, both natural and manmade as she tries to scratch out an existence in her new home. We learn about a very shameful chapter in Canadian history through the Birchtown riot. We get a glimpse into the entitlement and vehement xenophobia of European settlers, and we see the beginnings of a grand adventure back across the sea to the Motherland.

 

Now before we get into any more discussion, it is my duty to inform you of the following: Read more »

Book of Negroes Review Pt.4 by Word Mason

Book of Negroes Review Pt.4

From the Tablet Reviews: The Book of Negroes, Episode 4

It has oft been said that history is written by the victors. When the victors write history, they choose to record the events that make their choices wise, their victories glorious, and their conduct honourable. When we read history, we have to remember that we are only getting a piece of a piece of what happened at the time that record was penned. We may know what was written, we may even know who wrote it, but that is never everything. The stories behind the fading scratches of ink on brittle yellow parchment are often lost to the uncounted sunsets between the moments recorded and the time we rediscover them.

 

In this episode of the CBC’s The Book of Negroes, we get a lesson in the often unpleasant nuances of recording history. This episode teaches us that what we often learn in our history classes are footnotes to the true grit of the events in question. We see the way that law can be manipulated for the gain of a privileged few. The show directly addresses the question of “the good slave master” and they hypocrisy of America’s founding fathers. There is always more to the story. Now before I say anything else… Read more »

Business Ideas for 2015

Business Ideas for 2015

 

Let’s be honest. Middle class is shrinking. The idea of a long term position with one company is an old one. More companies are outsourcing. Some people are being replaced with robots (seriously, a robot took my luggage at my hotel in Manhattan). Many people are holding on to old ideas and finding it uncomfortable to adapt to the new ways of the world.

Whether people like it or not, we are now discovering the true definition of financial security, which is, in my opinion knowing how and having the ability to earn with or without an employer. Many will have to learn how to sell and invest in order to survive today’s world or risk bouncing from job to job hoping and wishing not to get fired. Not to mention being eaten alive by the three headed monster named debt, inflation and taxes.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a business where you can monetize your talents and get some experience in selling without needing a ton of cash, here’s some ideas that could get you started with building up YOU Incorporated: Read more »

Book of Negroes Review Pt.3 by Word Mason

Book of Negroes Review Pt.3 by Word Mason

From the Tablet Reviews: The Book of Negroes, Episode 3

What is freedom? In North America, we do many great and terrible things in the name of freedom. We hold what we consider to be free and fair elections to choose our leadership, we protest in the streets, and sometimes we even go to war. We would like to believe that freedom and equality are fundamental rights of the human condition. It is written in to our laws, engraved in stone at steps to our seats of power, and touted as hallmarks of a fully developed society. We often proselytize about the cost of freedom, and sweep under the rug the crimes of commission and omission done in its name. We also forget those who do not always reap the benefits of the liberty that we proclaim to be available to all.

In episode 3 of CBC’s The Book of Negroes, we address the question of freedom and equality. This densely packed episode serves as an allegory apropos of the current climate of race relations in the United States, questioning what freedom is worth, and whom it will it serve as beneficiaries. Both old and new characters in this episode have their loyalties and their mettle tested as the American Revolutionary war rages on in the Thirteen Colonies. However, before I go any further, let me remind you…

**********************************SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!*********************************** Read more »

Book of Negroes Review Pt.2 by Word Mason

Book of Negroes Review Pt.2 by Word Mason

 

From the Tablet Reviews: The Book of Negroes, Episode 2

In a free and democratic society, the right to self-determination is one that many of us take for granted. We enjoy the right to freedom of movement, association, and access to free education. What if all of that were to be stripped away and we were left to live or die at the whims of someone that relished nothing more than our repression and complete submission? What if trusting anyone could mean the difference between life and death? What is it like to truly be on your own?

In the second episode of the CBC’s The Book of Negroes we are confronted with these questions in all of their depth and exquisite agony. This episode seeks to not only further character development, but also to educate the viewer on life as a slave in the Carolinas just years before the American Revolution. Just like last week, if you haven’t seen the episode yet, please beware. Read more »

Book Of Negroes Review by Word Mason

BOOK OF NEGROES REVIEW

From the Tablet Reviews: The Book of Negroes, Episode 1

There comes a time in every generation when television history is made. That history maker for this generation of Canadian television is The Book of Negroes. This televised adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s runaway success premiered on CBC Television on January 7th. 2015, and television will never be the same.

Before I begin my review of the first episode, let me start with providing you a little bit of background on the book the miniseries is based on and some details on the cast. Published in 2007, the book has sold over 500, 000 copies in Canada alone. There has been fantastic support for the book both in Canada and abroad. The book and the show both chronicle the epic tale of a young girl named Aminata in her journey from West Africa to and through various slave holding countries and back home again while surviving the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. All of this is set in the latter years of the 18th century. Read more »

Valuable Lessons Learned in 2014

Valuable Lessons Learned In 2014

This year has been full of ups and downs but I value every minute of it. Another year is another chance to grow and become who we want to become. In my opinion the growth can only occur with new wisdom and experiences which we should all seek out regularly; Not just from our own experiences but from the experiences of others. Here are three valuable lessons I learned or was reminded of this year: Read more »

Seven Habits of The Go-Getter

 

Seven Habits of The Go-Getter

A wise man once said first we make our habits then our habits make us. Our lives will always be and always have been a result and a picture of the practices we put into play on a daily basis. Those who come out on top in the game of life are the ones who exercise the power they have over these choices and practices and decide to make them positive ones. We all have the ability to do so, so we all start on an equal playing field. Here are seven habits of the go-getter that this student of life decided to take note of:  Read more »

Three Super Powers We Are Born With

Three Super Powers We Are Born With

We’ve already been given all the power we need to get what we want out of life. I’ll explain in the following paragraphs.  Read more »