Sunday Cummins's Reviews > Copper Sun

Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper
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's review
Apr 10, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: coretta-scott-king-award

I have avoided this book for a long time, not wanting to read about the conditions on the slave ship and the conditions of slavery in the colonies during this period - 1730s. I finally listened to it on audio tape and I'm so glad I did. It was gripping. You can read the summaries of it on Amazon.
I was fascinated by what I didn't know and kept wondering about Sharon Draper's extensive research on this topic, wanting to take her out for coffee and drill her with a bunch of questions. The book left me wanting to know more.
The conditions of Amari's trek from her village, completely destroyed so there wouldn't be anyone to return to, to the slave compound on the coast.
The conditions on the ship - the men versus the women; the rape of the women by the sailors; making them all dance for exercise to a drum beat that lacked the elegance of their villager drummers.
All of the characters who, while not enslaved, lacked freedom - Polly, the indentured servant, the slave owner's young wife, who gave birth to the baby of her African body guard, the Irish wife who had no say in her husband owning slaves, but took a stand by giving them a horse and wagon, the boy whose father was frequently drunk and angry.
Fort Mose, Florida - the Spanish colony; I'd never heard of this colony before - where everyone was free - Native Americans, Africans, whites - to live together, to marry, to work together because the Spanish king did not believe in slavery - and yet this was not a perfect haven; the African men were forced to serve in the Spanish army, you had to become a Catholic, and surviving was hard work. Knowing American history, knowing that Florida became part of the U.S., I wanted to read to find out if this freedom was short lived. The Spanish and residents in Fort Mose held off a huge group of English soldiers in 1740 and the area remained in Spanish control for another 80 years. (It sounded a little like the Alamo.)

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