Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Someone Knows My Name
We held on to each other long after we were both spent."
But then Chekura reveals that her Massa, Solomon Lindo, arranged to sell her baby (who died of smallpox), and that makes Meena mad.
What makes me mad, however, is something completely different. We are told that slaves communicate through a gossip channel called the "fishnet", like a low-tech slave internet. That is how Chekura knew that Meena had moved to a different island. That was also how Chekura knew that Lindo had helped sell Meena's baby. It's very hard to believe that slaves can communicate such specific details across Caribbean islands. It's even harder to believe that Appleby needed Lindo to sell the baby to a third party--why would Appleby need anyone's help to sell a slave?Click here to see the rest of this review
The whole purpose of this plot development is to give Meena reason to be discontented with Lindo. After she argues with Lindo about this, showing her displeasure, he even more improbably decides to take her to New York, and allows her freedom of movement there. And of course Meena escapes. This makes the story feel even more improbable.
When Meena gets to New York a black guy named Sam helps her escape from Lindo. Sam runs a restaurant in New York. What?
Black guys ran restaurants in New York in the 1700's? Who knew?
Meena hides for a while in the "forest" of northern Manhattan. Remember, this is the 1700's. They had a forest back then. Then Sam helps her build her own shack. Meena makes a living teaching blacks how to read and write and delivering babies. Meena also gives girls some homemade abortion drugs and helped men for "relief for the blisters and excretions on their p_nises", heh heh.
Then the revolutionary war starts. Later, the revolutionary war ends. The British offer to resettle black people to a very cold and inhospitable island to the far north named Nova Scotia. They even offer to give black people their own land. It sounds like paradise, right? Just wait.
Meena accepts and helps black people get the right paperwork to move there, in something called the "Book of Negroes".
Suddenly Chekura shows up. Separated by over a thousand miles and many years, he somehow figured out exactly where Meena was. Believe that if you like.
Meena is worried that Chekura won't like her anymore because her breasts "didn't lift the way they once had". But Chekura didn't mind doing the heavy lifting, heh heh. From the book:
"I believed that we conceived our child on August 15, 1783. I just knew by the way my man moved deeper and deeper inside me, and by the way we both quivered and shock and erupted together, that we had made another baby."
Suddenly Massa Appleby shows up to claim her. That's right, he tracked her down, years later, somehow, and traveled the long, dangerous, and expensive trip over 1000 miles to reclaim Meena. How likely is this?
A court hearing is held. Suddenly, Massa Lindo appears and says that Appleby does not own Meena, he does.
Now, if you're thinking it's unlikely for Appleby to suddenly travel a 1000 miles to recapture one slave, how likely is it for Appleby to do it, and then for Lindo to do it, and both at the exact same time? I'd say the chances are less than zero.
Anyway, Lindo claims ownership, which the court grants, and Lindo immediately frees her. He's the nicest slave owner Meena ever had. Lindo tries to ask for forgiveness but Meena gives him the finger and walks away.
Chekura has already gone on to Nova Scotia and Meena took another ship but she got separated from him, her ship lands in a different place. It is only years later that she learns that Chekura's ship sunk and he is dead, so he will never move "deeper and deeper inside her" and "quicker and shake and erupt" and all the rest.
When Meena gets to Nova Scotia she discovers it is a paradise for black people... NOT!
Restaurants refuse to serve "niggers", and white people throw peanuts at her, and black people do not get the land which was promised them. And of course it's very cold up there.