John Hope Franklin Loren Schweninger: Imagine My Surprise

I just finished reading, In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family in The Old South by John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger. While searching the Internet for books written by Dr. Franklin, a 1935 Fisk University graduate, the title of this novel caught my attention, so I checked it out at the library.

When I finally receive the book, I begin to read the prologue. Imagine my surprise when I read words, such as Deaderick Street; Nashville; Davidson County Courthouse; and Tennessee. I am astonished because I attended college in Nashville, and I was going to read about this city and its early beginnings from the viewpoint of a slave. Then, I read the words, Charlottesville, Virginia. I immediately think, “This is the place where Heather Heyer lost her life during the protest on August 12, 2017.” The next thing I know, I put down the other book that I was reading, and I begin to read this one with intensity.

A mother’s love. A mother’s sacrifice. A mother’s determination. Dr. Franklin chronicles the life of Sally Thomas, a slave mother who desires only one thing for her children: freedom. Her story begins in Charlottesville, Virginia and then shifts to Nashville, Tennessee. As I read this novel, I kept wondering when Thomas’ sons or grandchildren would find their “promised land”. Throughout this novel, Sally, her sons, and her grandchildren must navigate their lives during and after the institution of slavery. Do they find their promised land? Reading the novel will answer this question.

My challenge to you: Franklin and Schweninger provide much imagery that is difficult to ignore. Therefore, as you read this novel, allow your mind to experience the Thomas family’s journey. Lastly, remember to chime in on what you are reading. Happy reading!

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Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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