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Emotionally charged anthology explores African American experience
April 6, 2017
The Voices of Martyrs by Maurice Broaddus Rosarium Publishing Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 28 Feb 2017
This anthology is a profound, emotionally charged anthology that left me breathless. The stories are portraits of Africans over time, from the time before slavery, through their experiences over the decades in the US to the present and beyond. Each voice is a message that reaches the heart. An entire race has been shaped by the ignorance, hate and greed of others. But despite this, there is still pride, a sense of connection with their origins. It takes strength and determination to persevere. At the same time, there is a tacit criticism of the selfishness that arises from a lack of human connection, a lack of place. There is also a criticism of those who force their religion on others, particularly through militant means. If we ignore our pasts, we are in danger of making the same mistakes.
Some may be offended about the way Christianity is portrayed, but the reality is that slavers justified their actions because they saw themselves as superior. They felt they were “civilizing heathens” and that Africans were little better than animals. The short sightedness and lack of empathy that people have for those that look different and believe differently has had a horrific impact on our culture. American society hasn’t progressed, as we can easily see today.
The Voices of Martyrs is an incredible, eloquently written anthology and I highly recommend it.
5 / 5
I received a copy The Voices of Martyrs from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
We are a collection of voices, the assembled history of the many voices that have spoken into our lives and shaped us. Voices of the past, voices of the present, and voices of the future. There is an African proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates as “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” This is why we continue to remember the tales of struggle and tales of perseverance, even as we look to tales of hope. What a people choose to remember about its past, the stories they pass down, informs who they are and sets the boundaries of their identity. We remember the pain of our past to mourn, to heal, and to learn. Only in that way can we ensure the same mistakes are not repeated. The voices make up our stories. The stories make up who we are. A collected voice.