The Water Dancer

By Ta-nehisi Coates

8.5/10
(8.5/10)

403 pages

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
What’s it about?
Hiram is born into slavery in Virginia.  When he is a young boy his mother is sold away.  All memories of his mother go away with her.  Years later, Hiram almost drowns and discovers a strange power within himself.  He soon decides to run- and the Underground Railroad is waiting for him.  The organization is aware of Hiram, and his unusual powers…What did it make me think about?
Power. Brutality.  Humanity. Perseverance.

Should I read it?
This was a really good book.  Do not let the first 15 pages deter you.  If you stick with it, the story becomes more straight forward. This book reminded me in ways ofUnderground Railroad by Colson Whitehead,orWashington Black by Esi Edugyan.  All thought provoking books about this time period.

Quote-
“The Quality, for instance, did not inquire on the inner workings of their ‘people’. They knew our names and they knew our parents.  But they did not know us, because not knowing was essential to their power.  To sell a child right from under his mother, you must know that mother only in the thinnest possible way.  To strip a man down, condemn him to be beaten, flayed alive, then anointed with salt water, you cannot feel him the way you feel your own.  You cannot see yourself in him, lest your hand be stayed, and your hand must never be stayed, because the moment it is, the Tasked will see that you see them, and thus see yourself.  In that moment of profound understanding, you are all done, because you cannot rule as needed.”

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