By: Tanya Landman
Location: FIC LAN
Genre: Historical Youth Fiction - American Slavery and Native Americans.
It starts by posing a question- what does it mean to be free?
It is a good question, does it mean that you are in a place where you are not judged or discriminated against? Does it mean you can live a life with no imposed boundaries, either legal or cultural?
Are any of us truly free or do the obligations we have as citizens incur the need for us to comply and therefore take from us the freedoms we may want for the sake of the greater good?
Buffalo Soldier explores the nature of freedom in a
searingly poignant story told from the perspective of Charlotte, a young
African-American slave from the deep south of America at the end of the
Civil War. After witnessing the rape and lynching of her adoptive
mother, Charlotte is pitched all alone into a world of war and terror.
Officially emancipated from slavery, she is still trapped by the colour
of her skin but also by her gender. Now that even her value as a slave
has been stripped from her, in desperation she dons a dead man’s clothes
and joins the US Army, becoming ‘Charley’, a ‘buffalo soldier’. She is finally shown the meaning of true
freedom by an Apache with whom she is able to discover a viable identity
for herself as a woman.
What kind of a girl steals the clothes from a dead man's back and runs off to join the army?
A desperate one, that's who.
been turned on its head by that big old war, and the army seemed like
the safest place to be, until we was sent off to fight them Indians. And
then? Heck! When Death's so close you can smell his breath, ain't
nothing makes you feel more alive.
A hard hitting book that pulls no punches but all in context which
works brilliantly. I love books based on history and I feel I had my
eyes opened to the brutal reality of American Indians. Elizabeth from Goodreads.com