Friday, August 9, 2013

Day of Tears by Julius Lester



Day of Tears by Julius Lester

I contemplated reading this book for some time, and I'm so glad I finally did. A Day of Tears is a historical fiction based on the largest slave auction ever held in the history of the United States of America. During the two days of the auction, a torrential rainstorm took place, and the skies did not clear until the auction came to an end. This historical event became known as "the weeping time."

This is the story of Pierce Butler, a large plantation owner in Georgia, and his two daughters Frances and Sarah and their house slave named Emma. Emma is the caretaker of Butler's two children and the children love Emma deeply, especially little Sarah.  The two sisters have opposing viewpoints of slavery, Sarah abhors slavery while Frances, like her father, revels in Southern pride. In an attempt to pay off his massive gambling debts, Mr. Butler must sell the only property he has left, which consists of over 400 slaves. Although Butler promises not to sell Emma, she is a young strong girl who will surely turn a mighty profit on the auction block. You will have to read the book to find out what happens; but this heart wrenching story of our country's history is one that should never be forgotten.

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