Review: Drapetomania: "All of the Ways In Which I Am Black" by Sami Arlenis-Frederick

February 26, 2018
Drapetomania: All of the Ways In Which I Am Black, Sami Arlenis-Frederick, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: CreateSpace on August 29, 2017
Format Read: Kindle Edition (102 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ Contemporary/ Own Voices
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Author Request
Drapetomania: "All of the Ways In Which I Am Black"
In 1851, American physician Samuel A. Cartwright determined the negro slave’s desire to flee captivity was due to a mental illness in which he titled Drapetomania. This collection of paper poems titled of the same name is black life on an anthology of white pieces of paper. These words capture the backbone of a culture and the liberation of a people.



This was a great collection of poems exploring how African Americans experience, joy, pain and everyday life. It features poem about family bonds, self destruction and ruminations on the injustice that so many people have experienced.
 "we have lost so many things to so many fires"
I enjoyed the illustrations included as well as the various formats and titles included with the poems.  There are not enough poems out there that could tackle all of the pain and grief that so many black people in our country feel, because of racism. It describes poverty, street life and family dynamics that reflected my own.
"our poems are not our self-expression they are out self-defense"
This collection sets the atmosphere of someone sharing stories and laughter at a kitchen table. It was a great experience that reflects the harsh and unjust experiences that marginalized communities face. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy poetry that reflects on black culture and challenge readers to expand their own perspective and understanding.

I received a free e-book from this author in exchange for an honest review. 


 Sami Arlenis- Frederick is a self published poet.

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