Book Review: The emancipation of Robert Sadler

This is an amazing book about a man born in 1911 in South Carolina. He was sold into slavery not once but twice, by his own father at the age of 5. This despite the fact that the emancipation proclamation had already been issued many years earlier (about 1862).

The book takes us through his experiences in slavery from the age of 5 till 14 when he escaped. Then on to his life as a free man. He struggles with freedom and at one point even decides to go back, finding the free world too difficult and unfamiliar to navigate. He eventually becomes a preacher and lives a life of great faith, helping others.

What I found so captivating about the book is how it tells the story of Robert and God throughout. The reader is able to see how, through people and events in his life, God was slowly drawing him, showing him he cared. And how these events eventually lead to Robert becoming a man of great faith.

The book is very well written and easy to read, I could barely put it down. This despite the fact that I was reading it for the second time. I first read it about 20 years ago, a borrowed copy from a friend. I was reminded of it after watching the movie Amazing Grace, which tells the story of how William Wilberforce struggled over many years to get the bill outlawing slavery passed in the British parliament. I googled the title online and was pleasantly surprised to find it available on Amazon.

It has some underlying analogies to real life, in areas where we have become so accustomed or enslaved to certain ways of living and thinking. Change is difficult and we find ourselves wanting to go back to what is familiar, even though it is not beneficial to us and we need to go forward to better things. Think about an employee trying to become an entrepreneur. Or the Israelites on their way to the promised land, who frequently complained about the new challenges they were encountering and wished to go back to Egypt, to the familiar. Freedom has a price.

All in all the book is a great read!

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