It’s the true story of Henry “Box” Brown, a man who mailed himself to freedom, to the North to escape slavery. The book starts Henry's story as a boy and continues up to his adulthood, and ultimately, freedom.
The realistic illustrations brought me straight into the story, and conveyed to me the feelings of being lost, helpless, undignified, and angry, all at the same time.
I was particularly shocked by the pictures of the slave ship. For over one month, black slaves were shipped like luggage without water and foods. They couldn’t even move an inch and half of them died before arriving in America. The most deplorable fact is Henry’s freedom box is true story and we still see racial inequality which exists today.
I felt very uncomfortable when I read this book even though it is just a children’s picture book. However I think we should let our children see the dishonorable but true history of Black slaves and let them further questions the social reality and injustice to make better world.
This detailed drawing of the interior of a slave ship shows how the "cargo" was arranged to maximize capacity.
Here's another true story of Harriett Tubman who was born a slave, became a famous "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, leading hundreds of slaves to freedom.