Friday, August 8, 2014

Buffalo Soldier

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.

World 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 aliv
e.


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

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