Author Margaret D. Pagan's book 'More than a Slave' is an important piece of historical fiction that stacks up with other great books about the African American experience here in the United States of America. The book takes place in the late 1700's but slavery still exists today. Two prominent states of slavery include the slave to God or the slave to sin, both of these are pretty powerful.
The writer's version of Katherine Ferguson's life does two things. It gives the reader a past account respectfully staying as close to the truth as possible and goes further gently by inspiring the reader to get aligned with God's will no matter what the circumstances warrant. Of course there is hope of reward for holding on to God that way.
Stories like Katherine Ferguson's must be told even though some of the detail is hard to accept. For example, Hannah, Katy's mom puts herself in serious danger so that her unborn child would be born free only to reach freedom and be sold into slavery a few days later by a master that never owned her. Eventually mother and daughter are separated and the story of the 3rd generation Katy begins. There are those that discuss the indirect good that may have come as a result of slavery.
According to a Huffington Post article, 'What the Modern World Owes to Slavery' written by Greg Grandlin, a professor of history at New York University (NYU), "slave ships were floating laboratories offering researchers a chance to examine the course of diseases in fairly controlled, quarantined environments." This especially clarifies why the doctor that helped deliver Katy felt her mother, Hannah, more useful to him if she had complications following the delivery.
As you read the story of the main character's relentless struggle for freedom you want something to work out for her. You may even desire to see those negative forces around her abolished no matter how. The writer helps us to develop our thinking right along with the characters from one scene to the next. The characters include many of the same voices we hear in our lives today, a loyal grandmother, a courageous mom, a host of folks that take on the role of auntie, uncle, cousin, church family and even the laws that benefit and the ones that cause harm.
There is no individual or group that has not been conquered by someone or something at some point in their time. The story 'More Than a Slave' uncovers a quiet place in the reader. A place where the voice of God is still saying "have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the foul of the air and every living thing that moves upon the earth" (Genesis 1:28).
The focus of the book seems to be about using genuine forgiveness as a springboard to transcend selfishness, doubt, hate and live fearlessly in the shadow of the Almighty. Of course this is no easy task for the characters in the book nor would it be easy for us today but finding out how our heroin does it makes this book a good read.
Line that stood out:
Why are you still chasing after her? She gave you to me. (Spirit of God)
Scripture to keep in mind as you read:
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 KJV)
Author Margaret D. Pagan is a Morgan State graduate, first lady at Urban Bible Fellowship Church and Baltimore resident. To get this book and other books by Mrs. Pagan visit: