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Friday, April 10, 2009

The Freedom Business: A Narrative of the Life & Adventures of Venture, a Native of Africa (Poetry)

Released October 2008

Reviewed by Deb Fowler

His name was Broteer Furro, the first son of a prince. He was born in Dukandarra, Guinea in 1729. Broteer’s mother left his polygamous father when he was five and left him in the care of a farmer. A year later, his father came to fetch him, but soon after that his father was murdered and he himself was sent on a four hundred-mile march, only to be sold into slavery. In Anamaboo he soon boarded a canoe bound for Rhode Island.

He was soon dubbed “Venture,” but that was the only thing about Broteer that changed. He remained a determined, fiercely independent person throughout his life. He would go on to raise a family and struggle to buy their freedom. This is his story, a story he dictated for the world to remember him by. It was published in 1798.

I was fascinated by Venture’s story, having never heard the name even though the author’s information claims he was the “first man to document both his capture from Africa and life as an American slave.” The biography was printed on the left-hand page, the poetry on the right. Although both were stunning, I was somewhat distracted by the set up as the story was so interesting and went back to the poetry only after finishing the story.

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