With everything happening in this country right now, I firmly believe it’s imperative to read & listen to stories that make you uncomfortable, that make you recognize how lucky you are, and how much further we have to go to really make this country great again. And as with everything, that process can be incredibly uncomfortable. But as with any growth, we all want to make sure the gross, unnerving parts of our history never repeat themselves.That’s where The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead comes in.
I’m sure we all know the stories and have seen the photographs of slavery. read the history books of how grossly terrible it was — I’m sure words will never do the injustice of this part of American history justice. But there are still ramifications being felt today. Whitehead weaves stories of the underground railroad, slavery, and what it meant to be free seamlessly together. It’s a beautiful story following the protagonist, Cora, on her journey from running from her plantation and the process of really finding freedom.
In the novel, The Underground Railroad is an actual underground railroad with stops, tunnels, and tracks with actual conductors. It’s fascinating and Whitehead does a great job of making you unable to put his words down.
Naturally, this was a book Oprah chose for her book club back in 2016 and I can definitely see what it continues to be such a hit. After all, it has the Oprah seal of approval. But in all seriousness, this book is beautiful as it is haunting. It’s a stark reminder that slavery and history were far darker than we can imagine nor should I hope we ever experience it again. But to grow, we must be uncomfortable in where we’ve been so we can recognize the signs before it’s too late again.
This book gave me a lot to think about as well as to be thankful for. I hope y’all read it too.