The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Hi, I am Sarah. I am fourteen years old and an avid reader; it is one of my favorite things to do. Inspired by authors’ creations of magnificent places and surprising havens built by simple letters, I aspire to be an author and, meanwhile, nurture the love to write.
Cora is enslaved, like her mother was before her. Generations of her family lived and died in bondage. Cora is enslaved and she doesn’t want to be, because no one wants to live like that: three-fifths human with none of the rights, living under unbound suppression. Cora wants out, but she was born into a white man’s world. Even if she runs, she has nowhere to go. The path to the fabled free North is impassable for someone who looks like her.
But finally, the shackles of plantation life pull too hard so Cora runs, and she finds the mercy of the Underground Railroad; a system that shuffles enslaved people from the chains of Georgia and climbs through the South. It is not perfect. Fear grips every move. There is no one to trust here. Kin betrays kin in a relentless, sickening war waged against Africans. But Cora will prevail. Cora wants to be free, even if she’s never known what freedom means. And so she runs.
This book for adults is hard to read, but necessary. This book does not gloss over the hateful and ugly roots of our nation, but it is truthful. This book is the story of Cora, and it is the story of the millions of enslaved people in America: those in bondage, those who died there, and those who searched to be free of a racist world. Because eventually, Cora must stop running. She, like any other human on this planet, was never property.