The Book of Negroes 6-part miniseries premieres on CBC Television on January 7, 2015 at 9 p.m. (9:30 in Newfoundland) and continues on consecutive Wednesdays; in February, it will air in the United States on BET (Black Entertainment Television). The novel it was based on was authored by Lawrence Hill. Allow me to introduce him to you.
Hill was born in Newmarket, Ontario. He is the son of American immigrants to Canada — a black father and a white mother. Hill has written in his bestselling memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice of how his parents — social activist Donna Hill and social scientist/public servant Daniel G. Hill — met, married, left the United States the day after they married in 1953 in Washington, D.C., and raised a family in Toronto. Growing up in the 1960s in Don Mills, a predominantly white suburb of Toronto, Hill was very influenced by his parents’ human rights work and would go on to explore in his writing themes related to identity and belonging.
Hill has lived and worked in Baltimore, Spain and France, and now lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife and five children. His brother is singer-songwriter Dan Hill.
The $10-million miniseries chronicles the dramatic journey and life of Aminata Diallo, a young West African girl, abducted from her village and sold into slavery in America. Eventually, she registers her name in the Book of Negroes, the British ledger of 3,000 Black Loyalists who declared their allegiance to the King and were allowed to leave America for Nova Scotia – and what they believed was the promised land.
Books by Hill includes novels, such as:
Among his non-fiction books, there is:
To learn more about Lawrence Hill, I suggest going to the official Lawrence Hill website; and a .pdf called A tribute: “Dad will always ‘live within us’ – A son remembers Daniel Hill III, Activist, storyteller, champion, inspirer”; and finally a Guardian newspaper article Why I’m Not Allowed my Book Title.
Come back and tell us what your thoughts are about the miniseries if you watch it!