Reviewed by Ginger Simpson
…And Remember That I Am A Man - The Life of Moses Grandy by John Bushore, is a superbly SHOWN story of a strong, humble being born as a Negro, and is an adept portrayal of his life from childhood until death.
According to the author’s notes at the end of the novel, this book was written with several purposes in mind…and after a great deal of research. I didn’t have to read his narrative to know the purposes because I’d realized them during the reading of his book. Although I’ve long known about slavery and professed no accountability for it, this was an eye-opening experience. Everyone of us is most likely a descendent of someone who owned slaves and treated human beings as property. I’ve always considered the attitude young blacks carry as the excess baggage of their ancestry, but I have a much better understanding of the bitterness that has transcended time. Mr. Bushore made Moses Grandy my new friend, and I took his treatment and betrayals very personally.
As for the research, I thoroughly admire Mr. Bushore for doing his homework and knowing his subject so well. Talk about putting a reader in the character’s shoes…I walked as a slave through every page. I dripped with sweat at the back-breaking work, swatted bugs in the Dismal Swamp, and cried when my babies were sold.
The few writing issues that jumped out at my editorial eye were minimal considering the power of the story, the emotions, and the reality of Mr. Bushore’s descriptions. This story is definitely a keeper…if not on a shelf, then in the back of your mind so that never again in this country will we so devalue the worth of others simply because of the color of their skin.
As a postscript to my review, the timing of reading about Moses was further enhanced by watching the TV program, "Who Do You Think You Are," where three celebrities traced their roots back to slavery and were appalled at learning their own personal family history. I so wished I could have recommended they read Mr. Bushore’s novel. I missed that opportunity, but I can certainly make that suggestion to everyone who reads this. I’m definitely going to be looking for the companion novel Boy In Chains which is a true story of the Great Dismal Swamp. Although listed as suitable for mid-grade students through young adults, I intend to share it with my grandson to help him learn there is no place for prejudice in his life.
Mr. Bushore is a three-time recipient of the James Award, and two of his stories are included in a university course. He’s a multi-genre author, with dozens of stories and poems in both e-book and print. You can view his website at http://www.johnbushore.com and find his books listed for sale on http://monkeyjohnstore.homestead.com. Please treat yourself. I’m so thankful that I picked this book to review, and I thank Mr. Bushore for the opportunity to examine my own values.