Kristen Mcchesney's Reviews > The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano

The Poet Slave of Cuba by Margarita Engle
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's review
Nov 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: poetry

This is a beautiful book that deals with an important event in history. The slave trade from West Africa to the Americas totally transformed the course of history for the Americas, Africa and all those who inhabited the land (especially the slaves). The way in which the story of Manzano is told, through verse, make the story easy to comprehend and also gives it an added dimension. The story, as told, is heartwrenching and at times hard to read, but it is written in a manner that young adults could follow and through flowing verse - they could internalize the brutality of slavery. Aside from the broad subject matter of slavery, the setting of Cuba sheds light on slavery outside of America, proper. The African slave trade was felt in nearly every mile of the Americas and the way in which we approach the history of slavery is very limited. I would use this book in my history classes, to bring an expansive perspecive and emotional element to the history.

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