“`I was born three revolutions of the moon northeast of here. In my village, we had various beliefs. My father was a Muslim, and had studied the Qur'an. Others in our village said that animals and sometimes vegetables contained spirits. We believed in helping one another at harvest time. We worked together. We ate together. Pounded millet together. We believed that we would gather when we died, return to those ancestors who had brought us to life. But nobody spoke of redemptiom.”
“That I decided is what it meant to be a slave: your past didn't matter; in the present you were invisible and had no claim on your future.”
“Reading felt like a daytime dream in a different land.”
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