Shadrach Minkins: From Fugitive Slave To Citizen

687 Words3 Pages
Slavery has been a part of our history for hundreds of years. Eventually abolitionist movements helped outlaw slavery, but still today it is a controversial topic in society. Gary Collison, who is a Caucasian English professor at Pennsylvania State University, wrote the novel Shadrach Minkins: From Fugitive Slave to Citizen. He wrote this book to voice the truth about hardships of slavery and discrimination. Collison follows Minkins throughout the continent as he is a slave in Norfolk, VA, a fugitive in Boston, and a free black man in Montreal. Collison does an acceptable job of portraying the lives of slaves along with the difficulties and discriminations they would have to overcome throughout their lives. Collison’s novel starts out describing the well known aspects of a slave. This includes how they were restricted in movements, decisions, and forced to do labor. He provides a considerable amount of information about Minkins, seeing that there are few records about him. He compares and contrasts other slaves experiences to what might have happened to Minkins. Throughout his life, Shadrach was passed from owner to owner in his earlier years,…show more content…
In some cases the personal perspective may also detract from the historical value and may be a slight deterrent in the way one reads the book. Some novels are very detailed and gruesome and only focus on the beatings and torturous parts of slavery. Collison’s novel did not mention the abusive part as much as other novels did which may bias the reader in one way or another. The book about Shadrach focused on his life as a whole; not just the “stripes” he got that day. Collison’s novel focuses on how Minkins escaped from slavery and how he was going to better his life and learn from the experiences that he had encountered. Collison’s novel also focuses on many more people than just Minkins which gives it an array of opinion and
Open Document