Monday, October 19, 2009

Blog: Am I Not A Man?-The Dred Scott Story

I love reading about historical figures that I can really look up to. Mark L. Shurtleff's novel Am I Not A Man?: The Dred Scott Story is about such a person.

An illiterate slave, Dred Scott trusted in an all-white, slave-owning jury to declare him free. But after briefly experiencing the glory of freedom and manhood, a new state Supreme Court ordered the cold steel of the shackles to be closed again around his wrists and ankles. Falling to his knees, Dred cried, "Ain't I a man?" Dred answered his own question by rising and taking his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dred ultimately lost his epic battle when the Chief Justice declared that a black man was so inferior that he had "no rights a white man was bound to respect."

Dred died not knowing that his undying courage led directly to the election of President Abraham Lincoln and the emancipation proclamation.
Dred Scott's inspiring and compelling true story of adventure, courage, love, hatred, and friendship parallels the history of this nation from the long night of slavery to the narrow crack in the door that would ultimately lead to freedom and equality for all men.

By the end of this book I was teary and felt both the pain and the triumph of Dred's story. This brave man renewed my gratitude for my ancestors and the trials they underwent to insure the freedom of their posterity. And I'm grateful to Mark Shurtleff for researching Dred's life and gifting us all with his story.

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Michele Ashman Bell said...

That's an incredible review, Jewel. I appreciate your thoughts and comments and insight.

Candace E. Salima said...

Thanks for this review, Jewel. I really have been touched by the story of Dred Scott, inspired and motivated as well. Mark's book has shed light on a man and subject which should be taught in every junior high, high school and college.

Candace E. Salima said...

Jewel, will you please post this review on Goodreads?


JoAnn Arnold said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book and your review only made me more excited to open the cover

Christine Thackeray said...

Nice review! I loved hearing your connection to this great man.