Seeds Of Slavery

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
320 Pages
Reviewed on 05/28/2019
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

I was born and grew up in West Africa, which is where I gained my knowledge of and love for African culture. I am proud to share both through my stories. My goal is to help readers understand slavery from an African perspective, using characters, some fictional and some historical, to tell the story. This book was written to answer questions for those who are wondering about their African ancestors. Mainly, I would like to keep the history of human slavery alive in people’s minds so that we can avoid repeating our past mistakes. This novel exists to create awareness around the origins of slavery in Africa as well as the deep agony and despair it has inflicted. I tell stories to fulfill an ongoing mission to inform, educate, and entertain people from all walks of life.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Amanda Rofe for Readers' Favorite

Seeds Of Slavery by Joseph F. Baiden is a novel set against the early years of the slave trade during the seventeenth century. It charts the story of two men who endeavor to make their fortune as trans-Atlantic slave traders. Samuel Hastings and Albert Dross set sail to West Africa to begin their dubious business, setting in motion a series of events which have far-reaching consequences for those involved, not least the slaves themselves. Europeans may be a driving force in the slave trade but are only one link in a long chain. This is an untold story of the involvement of tribal leaders and middlemen who sell their own people for the promise of gold and guns.

Joseph Baiden writes a thoroughly compelling and original novel based on historical facts. The rich storyline is complemented by complex and vivid characters. We learn of the different African tribes, their physical and mental suffering, and the ultimate demise of many on the slave ships. This book fills in the gaps that have so often been absent in the history of slavery; that is a perspective from the very continent where people were torn from their free lives. In particular, it destroys the notion that the responsibility for the trade lay solely with white Europeans. There is much moral discussion and the human condition is laid bare from the point of view of both the slave trader and the slave. Seeds Of Slavery could easily become a classic. It is an absolutely fascinating book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

K.C. Finn

Seeds Of Slavery is a work of historical fiction based on real events, penned by author Joseph F. Baiden. Where most stories about slavery focus solely on the slaves’ arrival in countries like America, this interesting perspective takes its readers to West Africa from 1667 onwards, uncovering the roots of how European traders and the tribal leaders in Africa concocted the slavery plot for their own greed and gain. We meet pairs of people caught up on different sides of the argument, middle-men looking for quick cash, traders, lovers, and a single boy, Akoto, who makes rash decisions in the face of the disasters he sees all around him.

Author Joseph F. Baiden uses his personal knowledge of West Africa to bring the culture and turmoil of the seventeenth century to life, and his narrative voice speaks with powerful authenticity on every page. The plot shifts between different sets of people, giving truly human stories of survival, carnage, and plans gone out of control, all in the name of greed for those who have the power and advantage to act upon it. I particularly enjoyed the distinct voices and dialogues of the different characters, and the tale of Mussah and Hawa on the slave ship was a heart-breaking dramatic masterpiece. It was also very interesting from an educational standpoint to see the different levels of corruption and power in the system at its inception. Overall, Seeds Of Slavery presents a powerful fiction narrative that will engulf its readers, but also offers insight into an atrocious and cut-throat historical period.

Keith Julius

Most of us are aware of the horrible conditions suffered hundreds of years ago by the Africans - men, women, and children - transported from their homes and shipped across the Atlantic to work as slaves in the New World. But this is only part of the story. In his book Seeds of Slavery, author Joseph F. Baiden gives us a prelude to slavery, as he looks at the events on the road to the plantations. We meet Samuel Hastings, a thoroughly immoral man who has no problem making the transition from brothel owner to slave broker. Kofi and Kwesi, two native African guides who hire on to obtain slaves from their own people. Tribal kings Adonga and Butule, who pillage and capture their neighbors to increase their wealth and prestige. Captain Abraham McCaffery, the cruel overseer of the slave boat Lady Josephine. Along the way, we are also exposed to the human side of the tragedy, following the lives of the beautiful Hawa Matamaleh, her brave and fearless lover Mussah Oakem, and Mussah's brother Akoto.

We watch as Hawa and the other captives trek through the jungle, losing many to attacks from wild beasts. They suffer at way stations along the way, until finally arriving at the Gold Coast to be locked away in dungeons while they await transport across the Atlantic Ocean. Though treated little better than cattle, the captives remain true to their family beliefs and cling to one another to see them through their hardship, never losing their humanity and their closeness to one another. The journey continues as they cross what the author refers to as the world's largest cemetery – the Atlantic Ocean - the vastness of the waters swallowing uncounted dead, dying, and suffering for the sake of greed and riches.

Joseph F. Baiden does a marvelous job in Seeds of Slavery, presenting the events and circumstances that led to the horrible trafficking of humans that started well before the 1660s when the novel takes place. The book is well written and it's obvious the author invested some time in the writing. Greed is at the heart of this story, which the author plainly shows while revealing the horrible conditions suffered. We cry along with the characters during the struggles they face and marvel at their will to survive. Not for the faint of heart, the book covers a segment of history that never should have happened and is hard to forget. Slavery is, of course, an important issue. It shouldn't be forgotten, and it's interesting that the author explored what happened on the way to the plantations.

Romuald Dzemo

Set in 1667, Seeds Of Slavery by Joseph F. Baiden explores powerful themes of slavery, cultural identity, love, and betrayal, with a setting in the Gold Coast. Samuel Hastings and his business partner, Mr. Albert Dross, set sail for West Africa as supercargoes on the Dortmunder. Governor John Kelly is Sam’s contact in the Gold Coast, a man versed in the wine and spirit trade and one with whom Sam has discussed the slave trade. In this narrative, the author takes readers on an adventure — painful and poignantly described — that explores human greed, betrayal, and the beginnings of a heartbreaking story in human history.

The writing is impeccable and it captures scenes and emotions in a vivid way. Right from the very start of the narrative, the author introduces readers to a setting that gives them a good idea of what foreign exploration into the Gold Coast looked like. The conflict is both historical and cultural and the author demonstrates how the slave trade was enabled. Joseph F. Baiden builds a story with characters who help readers to understand some of the most painful betrayals in human history. The narrative has strong historical underpinnings, exploring the horrible crimes that were a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trafficking. While influential European businessmen were out to make a killing in the trade, African rulers betrayed their own people and fed the greed incited by the lure of western goods. Seeds Of Slavery is entertaining and well-crafted to draw out every emotion in the reader, a powerful indictment of slavery and man’s inhumanity to man. Joseph F. Baiden’s novel is well researched and deftly written. A masterpiece!

Jamie Michele

Seeds of Slavery by Joseph F. Baiden is a saga that takes off from England in 1667 aboard The Dortmunder, a cargo ship that lands on the Gold Coast in Africa with Albert Dross and Sam Hastings in tow. The two men are drawn to the Gold Coast at the dawn of a new type of trade: human trafficking. With the assistance of their middlemen, Kofi and Kwesi—two young men of mixed race on a continent under colonial rule—African kings are bartered with, enticed into raids with their own armies for the promise of riches. From there, captives are marched to a slave camp at Pikworo, then to the coast. The ultimate destination for those who survived was unlikely to be one worth living for.

Joseph F. Baiden has written a fictional tale that is woven with the type of terrifying historical accuracy that a reader both hopes for and fears in a novel like Seeds of Slavery. The amount of research poured into the work is profound, but so too is the story itself. Or stories, I should say, at Baiden narrates through multi-layered plots and storylines that mingle within the same Moira, while at the same time diverging just enough to allow for spectacularly varied of viewpoints. Hawa's voyage was the most intriguing to me, as was Mussah's, two slaves who offer readers narratives. The ending is absolutely not what I was expecting and reaffirms how skilled Baiden is with the story itself, making Seeds of Slavery a distressingly beautiful and fully engrossing five-star read. This is an excellent novel.