Bound for America: The Forced Migration of Africans to the New World Book Poster Image

Bound for America: The Forced Migration of Africans to the New World



This book gives slavery a human face.

What parents need to know


Some graphic paintings of suffering men, women, and children.

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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are graphic paintings of suffering men, women, and children.

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What's the story?

Imagine enduring the Middle Passage from Africa to America--a nightmarish journey, with victims packed in areas little more than coffin high. This picture book-size volume takes readers through the outrages of slavery by combining narrative with vivid illustrations. It gives slavery a human face, often using the words of slaves and contemporary observers to describe the suffering.


Is it any good?


BOUND FOR AMERICA uses its title as an unhappy pun, as the book exposes the difference between immigration by choice and dehumanizing coercion. Second in a projected seven-part series called From African Beginnings, this well-researched history focuses on the escalation of slavery in the New World and its dire effects on both American and African cultures. It is carefully organized in concise chapters that keep the story clear even when the historical context is very meaty.

Careful integration of text and illustrations enhances the impact. Eight handsome paintings by Floyd Cooper hold the book together so that the narrative remains in the context of his soft but graphic paintings of suffering men, women, and children. The book tells slavery's dirty secrets, often quoting slaves and contemporary observers. It clarifies not only the personal sufferings of individuals but also slavery's disastrous effects on African culture.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the legacy of slavery. What most surprised you in this book? Is the legacy of slavery still evident today? How so?

Book details

Author:Jim Haskins
Illustrator:Floyd Cooper
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:William Morrow
Publication date:January 1, 1999
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12

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