Jamaica Magazine

Run to Freedom – Book Review

Written by Staff Writer

About the Book
Run to Freedom is an adventure story for junior readers, set on an eighteenth century sugar plantation in Jamaica. The young protagonist is Kofi, son of an enslaved Asante warrior named Kwame. Kofi’s father fights vigorously against enslavement, and vows to escape the plantation and find a way to free his wife and children. But Kwame is killed in his escape attempt. Believing that he may have been responsible for his father’s capture and death, Kofi determines to succeed where his father failed: to escape from the plantation and join the Maroon warriors who live in the mountainous interior and fight an unremitting war of resistance against the British plantocracy. Kofi hopes to lead the warriors in a raid on the plantation and to rescue his mother and sister.

Kofi is focused, but impulsive. His first escape attempt is futile and he is captured by the same man who killed his father. He narrowly escapes having his hamstring cut and being crippled for life. Instead, he is strung up at the whipping post, beaten with the cat-o’-nine-tails and turned over to an old slave for “re-training”. Kofi’s physical wounds take a long time to heal, but his emotional turmoil brings even more pain. He promises his grieving mother to work within the system and to stay out of trouble. She tells Kofi of other ways in which he might fight the British. She shows him the many stratagems with which the enslaved Africans fight their captors: by working slowly and inefficiently; by appearing backward and clumsy; by breaking tools and wasting product. Through theft and sabotage, they inexorably lessen the planters’ profits and cause them untold frustration.

Kofi tries to be satisfied with the form of resistance his mother advocates, but he yearns to fulfill his father’s dream. He discovers that there is a resistance leader on the plantation who is closely allied with the rebel warriors. Kofi’s dream comes true when he is asked to make a second escape attempt, in a bid to take some vital military information to the Maroons. Barely surviving the dangerous second escape attempt, Kofi makes it to the “Land of Look Behind” bearing his vital information to the mountain warriors.

About the Author
Dawn Forrester Price is an English instructor and International Studies consultant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was extensively active in the Jamaican Theatre and music worlds as award winning actress, singer and writer. In 1984 she emigrated the the U.S. and since then she has written, directed and performed in a number of educational, public service, and religious theatre and video productions. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Dip. ED. from the University of the West Indies, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Coe College. 

Where to Buy the Book
Buy the book online at  Amazon.com

About the author

Staff Writer