K. I. Knight’s Fate & Freedom is Fantastic! An extraordinary and exciting story that has never been told before of the capture and arrival of the first Africans brought to English North America in 1619. Their story is one of tragedy, experiencing a new world of life and culture and how the political structure affected their freedom. The author has thoughtfully used historical facts to create a mesmerizing story of what life would have been like for those first Africans in their saga to survive.
Calvin Pearson, Founder, Project 1619 Inc.
Those who love and study history long to have it made real to them in a meaningful way. This book brings that reality to the reader with characters that are believable and vital. You care about these people, perhaps because they are based in truth, and due to K.I. Knight’s vast research into the politics and people that pioneered this continent. The storylines intertwine in a powerful and heart-touching way, becoming part of the foundation for this great nation, our heritage.
Dori Emerson Lloyd, Genealogist
K.I. Knight combines dogged, meticulous genealogical research and remarkable empathy to form a vibrant, well-paced narrative. She gives life to two otherwise anonymous people, taken for property, and tells a story of America through their eyes. It’s a telling long overdue, informative and entertaining. K.I. Knight scores big!
J. K. Broughton, Attorney at Law
“Black history is American history.” – Morgan Freeman
In the past two decades the United States’ government has tried to do what it thought would help to ‘right past wrongs’ when it comes to African-Americans and their role in the history of America. In Ms. K. I. Knight’s Fate and Freedom she adds her voice to a growing chorus that has begun to recognize the vital role that Africans played in the founding of the United States.
The earliest beginnings of history of the United States taught in school focuses on the Mayflower and the pilgrims. It is a catchier story. But America was founded on two principles not just one. The first settlers of Virginia searched for gold, and in finding none, tried their luck at tobacco. America was, and still is today, a country built on religious freedom and economics.
In Fate and Freedom it’s very interesting and accurate when we read about how prevalent Africans were in Jamestown and how little extra attention they drew from the Europeans. Africans were an integral part of early Virginia. It is unfortunate that most Americans know so little about this period and the role Africans played in it. This in turn, I believe, has led to some of the myriad problems we have today trying to be a complete multi-ethnic society.
Ms. Knight also pulls us in to the story using multiple techniques. Ms. Knight uses present tenses to tell the narrative which, in the words of the History Channel, make ‘history come alive’. Ms. Knight also uses much vocabulary that is not so well-known or used often today, some of the terms may even be borderline archaic. But it works because it helps the reader get a feeling for the time and the place.
Another thing that we feel from reading Fate and Freedom is just how haphazard life was and can be. Those who deserve good things often do not receive them, and conversely, those who have earned our wrath live well. It is what it is. Death was present in many forms those earliest American years and always lurking around the next bend of the road or river. Everyone who didn’t die was a true survivor.
It’s obvious that tons of research went into writing Fate and Freedom. The very specific subjects like ship sailing, herbs in a British garden in spring, and the histories and intrigues of the Earl of Warwick and other major players are not normally things that the average person on the street has any inkling of. It is much for us to absorb, as it must have been much for the main characters, Margaret and John, to absorb.
I would have preferred if Ms. Knight had been a bit more frugal with clues about what was to happen next. A few times she states what a decent detective or diligent reader could surmise from previous information. Less is more. But this is a trifle.
Overall, Fate and Freedom is a book that could be used to help teach an American History class, to pass the time on a long flight, or simply, to enjoy under a warm blanket or in an air conditioned living room. It is a book for any time and any place.
The second part of the trilogy is due out at the end of this year, and I for one, can say exactly what I’d like for Christmas.
Michael V. Owens, Writer – Laptops and Lederhosen