Blonde Roots

Blonde RootsI’ve been curious since I first heard about Blonde Roots, a novel that examines the possibility that in an alternative history, Africans could have dominated the planet and taken the Caucasians as slaves. We follow the story of Doris, a young rural girl who is kidnapped and taken to Great Ambossa on a slave ship.

The only novel I’ve read that is similar to this is Roots by Alex Haley, and given my somewhat fuzzy but positive memories of that experience, I’m glad to say that Blonde Roots seems to measure up. Bernadine Evaristo did a great job flipping history over on its head. Had the Africans (or the Chinese, or Polynesians, or Inuit, etc.) conquered the sea and thirsted for more land, more resources, and more power, they would have likely started their own slave trade. I’m not sure if this was the message she was trying to get across — that people in a position of power can be extremely cruel, whatever the ethnicity — but it was received loud and clear.

All in all, I enjoyed it, but it won’t change my life. It’d be a great read for a long journey, so you can forget about the monotony of getting wherever you’re going.