On Our Journey Now by Nikki Giovanni

Lauren Brothers
2007 International Journal of Multicultural Education  
Reviewed by Lauren Brothers, Rutgers University Nikki Giovanni makes her story about slavery and civil rights both captivating and original by weaving together the history of slavery in America with the beautiful and poignant spirituals sung at the time. The story begins with a forward from Arthur C. Jones, of the Spirituals Project. He notes of Giovanni's purpose, "Nobody knows specifically when or where particular spirituals were created and sung. Rather than speculating on this, Nikki simply
more » ... points out the universal meaning of the songs and how they illustrate the challenges that enslaved Africans faced in dealing with their captors" (p. xi). The characters in On My Journey Now are the men and women who were ripped from their homes in Africa, forced on board ships, and brought to America to be sold into a life of slavery. The setting is historical America at this time. However, instead of focusing on the atrocities committed by slave masters, Giovanni takes a different approach. In telling the stories of the Middle Passage, religion, slavery, the Civil War, and escape, she poetically laces her narrative with the lyrics of the spirituals.
doi:10.18251/ijme.v9i1.56 fatcat:jzkcrvttdjet5f26pxo2a25pn4