The Glory Field by Walter Dean Meyers

Reading The Glory Field was a huge eye opener to the cruelty and injustices that African Americans have endured since the 1700’s. It has definitely taught me the power of freedom and how much people take it for granted today. All of the equality movements and rallies that take place now show that we have gotten far since the times of slavery, but there is still a long way to go. The Lewis family’s story spans over two hundred and fifty years, and each part introduces a brand new protagonist. The novel begins with Muhammed Bilal’s journey from Africa as a young captured slave. With each story, a new Lewis teenager tells his or her story of growing up in a different era of crucial black history.


Myers has brought into focus the very taxing and rigorous path to freedom for people of color. He writes the characters in a very motivational and positive light, but never skips out on the harsh truths of reality. He really brings ordinary characters to life by using an “African American” dialect. There are multiple lessons to be learned in The Glory Field that have to do with family, freedom, hard work, willpower, etc. The message that Myers wanted to get across in this novel, is that giving up is the easy option, but when humans persist through the obstacles of the harder road that is when goals are truly achieved.


Personally, I think this novel was written in an interesting format that always kept me intrigued and wanting to know who the next protagonist was going to be. It got to be a little bit confusing at times to keep track of the different main characters, but the family trees at the beginning of each part were extremely helpful and entertaining to look at. The best part of this novel is that it is centered around one family. Throughout the different time periods, you get to see each character come of age, and when the previous characters make appearances you get to see how they have also changed with time, making the story come full circle. I would recommend The Glory Field to any person who wants an engaging way to become educated about African American history. It will offer a down to earth and powerful take on the road to freedom for many people of color.
 






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