【 THE DEEP 】
A spectacularly clever commentary of generational trauma in relation to the slave trade.
Author: Rivers Solomon
Published: November 2019
Pages: 155 (paperback)
I was really excited to dive into this one because I knew it was going to be a very poignant tale for presenting the generational impact of white colonialism in relation to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. It certainly has me very excited to read everything else by Rivers Solomon, and I have every intention of doing so.
This is a really cool take on a song written by clipping. by the same name ‘The Deep’. It images a people who live underwater born from the bodies of mothers thrown overboard during slave shipments, and whose babies become the wajinru. They are mermaid-esque.
The storytelling itself is quite elusive, which the reader sharing the muddled state of mind that Yetu is battling with throughout the narrative. It makes it both more engaging and exhausting to read and process as you come to grips with the huge issues that Solomon has tackled by writing this story. It’s very, very good.
I think I’ll be hanging out for a reread of this one to so that I can process it, come back to it, and enjoy it even more. For a tiny book, this definitely packs a punch. The themes of healing as a community and coping with generational trauma together were some of the best representations of it I have ever read. It really is some great mastery to interpret it in such a fantastical way.
If this a topic you’re interested in reading more about and finding more ways to connect with, particularly from a non–African/African-American reader’s perspective, this is right up there with Yaa Gyasi’s book for beautifully and tragically capturing the pain of this healing process.
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Have you read The Deep?