February is Black History Month. I have owned this book for over 15 years and have just now finally read it. (My copy was lost in a fire last year so the copy I read was actually a replacement.) The story was very familiar, probably because it was one of the first to fuel the Abolitionist movement. It was also very popular and actually was the best selling novel in the 19th century. The best selling book in that century was the Bible. This book was written in the 1850's. Many plays and movies and additional books were based off of this original depiction of life in the southern states where slavery was abundant.
This book takes a look at slavery in America. It jumps right into the harsh realities of being a slave, a slave owner and a slave trader. It also made you ponder how a christian could declare to be a good christian yet still own a slave. The best part of this book is how the author again and again shows faith in Christ and christian love helping to overcome even something as evil as enslavement of fellow human beings.
The book was written by a white woman, a mother and a christian. Her descriptions of mother's having their children taken from them or trying to protect them are very real. I'm sure it would give me nightmares if I thought about it too much. I think this is actually what she is trying to do because these things really happened and were really bad yet they were legal and no one cared.
You might think that one person can't make a difference but just the opposite. One person can make a difference. One person wrote this book and it touched the hearts of people all over the world. Even Abraham Lincoln read it and commented on it at the beginning of the American Civil War. The main character in the book, Tom, was one person but he made a difference in fellow slaves day to day lives of sorrow and oppression. He also, through his christian example, helped his "mast'r's" to start to have a different outlook on their own lives. The one person that made the biggest difference and was referred to many many times in this book was Jesus Christ. His life, his death, his Resurrection made the ultimate difference and showed us all the way. There were so many sad stories about people in this book and it was very depressing. The hope of Christ helped me see and many of the characters, a different light on the senseless, shameful events surrounding slavery.
I am glad I read all 500 plus pages of this book. I hope that when I am faced with something hard, (I can't imagine what I would be faced with that was harder then the time depicted in this story when slavery was as common as eating bread), I hope that I can remember to turn to Christ. I hope to keep my integrity and my promises. I hope to be honest and be able to hold my head high and stand up for the truth. I hope to make a difference.
This was a WHOLE and HEALING book.