on 12 December 2010
Read "Roots" by Alex Hayley first and then read this and you will understand why in 1978 "Alex Haley acknowledges and regrets that various materials from The African by Harold Courlander found their way into his book Roots."
The similarities are just too much........in fact, it is literally the same book!!
However having said that, Roots is also an excellent read, as is "Queen" the other book by Alex Hayley. "The African" is a great read, but not meaty enough, and would leave you wishing it was longer.....wanting to know more.
Roots takes the same book and extends it into a very long read (which still leaves you wishing for more!).
Overall, this book is an excellent read, as is "Roots", just don't be suckered into Alex Hayley's claim that "Roots" is factual, because after reading "The African" you will see that "Roots" was copied!
on 8 July 2013
I found the first forty pages or so of this a bit hard going, but it was well worth persevering with because after that I just couldn't put it down. The African is the story of Hwesuhunu who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, and of the degradation, humiliation and ultimately the heroism, courage and camaraderie of countless men women and children who were enslaved throughout America and the Caribbean. I don't think this is a literary gem, and it could have been more emotional in places, but in the end that didn't matter and I was compelled to read on. The African is incredibly well researched and an amazing story. It's important that stories like this continue to be told.