In this follow-up to Chasing Freedom, life continues to be a struggle for Sarah, her husband Thomas and all of the Black Loyalists who had been promised land and provisions in Birchtown, NS. Their new lives are little better than the lives of slavery that they left behind. Sarah, like so many, has had to abandon her dreams and become an indentured servant. Frustrated by her employers’ unjust treatment, Sarah resorts to stealing loaves of bread, never imagining the terrible, far-reaching consequences of this seemingly small act of rebellion.
Wesley provides a vivid portrait of the horrific conditions that the Birchtowners endured, the mistreatment they suffered at the hands of their white employers and the lack of justice within the legal system. She captures the strong sense of community among the residents—supporting one another and celebrating life’s occasional triumphs. Sarah’s strength and determination are inspiring, her sorrow and desperation are palpable, her yearning for the life they had been promised is poignant. An informative glimpse into a rarely explored part of our history.
If This Is Freedom
by Gloria Ann Wesley
$19.95, paperback, 272 pp.
Roseway Publishing, September 2013