Reader's Spotlight
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Reader’s Spotlight #4: “The Unconquered”

It is important for people to know their history and where they come from, so that they know where they are going and can plan for the future. 

In Dr. Tolagbe M. Ogunleye’s historical novel The Unconquered, an immersive view is given into the history of the enslaved Gulla-Geechee/African and Yamassee/Indians people’s plight against the colonizers throughout parts of the east coast.

The book’s time period begins in 1715 and covers the 1715 Yamassee War and ends in 1818 after the “first of three successive Gullah-Geechee Wars.” The book is a solid read of over 400 pages in which the reader will learn about a wide variety of information involving African/Black people as well as the European colonizers. 

Some of these things include but are not limited to: the names of many different Indian tribes, the types of food/diet they had, many enslaved fought their way to freedom, how the formerly enslaved would go around to different plantations the original meaning of the Swastika before it was taken and perverted by the Nazis, the fact that notable Europeans like Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and others were either rapist, pedophiles, or both; and lastly, the different settlements the Gulla-Geechee and Yamassee (and other tribes) built in the state of Florida. 

The events recalled in this novel are sometimes gruesome in detail and painful to read, many of the colonizers did unspeakable things to Africans/Black/Indian people. Since most media we see of enslaved Black people shows them as obedient and docile, this book offers a different perspective of them during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dr. Tolagbe M. Ogunleye El is the author of African American Names and their Meanings (2002) and The African Roots of Jumping the Broom (2005). She has also written several articles on the subject of African cultural retentions and resistance to enslavement in the United States. Her publications include: Aroko, Mmomomme Twe, Nsibidi, Ogede, Tusona: Africanisms in Florida’s Self-Emancipated Africans’ Resistance to Enslavement and War Stratagems, Journal of Black Studies, (2004), “Women in Ancient West Africa”; in Women’s Roles in Ancient Civilizations (1999), “The Self-Emancipated Africans of Florida: Pan-African Nationalists.

This article originally appeared here on “December 11, 2020”.

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