The Book of Negroes Themes

The Book of Negroes Themes

Freedom and Oppression

The theme of freedom and oppression is one of the central themes of the novel, given that its core story revolves around slavery. This theme is presented through the various actions of the protagonist Aminata throughout the novel. From the beginning to the end of the novel, we observe Aminata in her fight against oppression and her fight for freedom.

One of the core incidents that cements her place as a fighter against oppression would be her willingness to suffer being raped by Appleby just so that she can be married to Chekura. Through her fight against her unjust treatment, we are inspired by her fighting spirit and her resilience. Even until her dying day, she never gives up her fight for freedom, that of her own as well as of the other slaves in Britain. This fire in her is evidenced in her continuing to give public speeches and publishing a memoir speaking out against the oppression of black people through slavery.


The theme of mortality is ever present throughout the novel. Throughout the novel, we are constantly presented with the deaths of the people whom Aminata hold close to heart. Her resilience in continuing to fight on only shines ever brighter with each death. While she mourns for the death of Mamadu, Lindo's wife, and Chekura, she does not let these tragic events leave her down and out. Instead, she draws strength from each of these tragedies, something that is incredibly difficult and which we as readers are led to admire.

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