About (based on Loves’ Soft Voice) by Ruby Thigpen Whitehurst
Loves’ Soft Voice is an extraordinary, unique, historical, love story. It is worth sharing with the world. I was born on December 24, 1956, and throughout my lifetime, I have read thousands of books. However, I have never come across a movie or book that depicts the romance between First Nation men and enslaved African women especially runaway slaves. Therefore, I wrote the story and I hope it becomes an epic feature film. Furthermore, I once read a magazine article that said, “One out of every three African American people living in the United States has an American Indian heritage.” Since I definitely have a First Nation heritage and because this story is a legend within my family, I took pleasure in writing it.
Besides, my grandmother often told me a similar story, when I was a child, because this type of romance happened often. However, society and history books do not call attention to the subject unfortunately, so, sit tight while Bright Star Whitehorse shares with graduate student, Alan Johnson, the amazing legacy of Waterfall Lake. He learns of her ancestors, Yellow Wolf, the son of a great First Nation Leader and Zerondi, the daughter of an African King. Bright Star takes him on a journey that tells of a time – when snatched from the Motherland as a victim of the Triangular Slave Trade – Princess Zerondi arrives on the southern shores of America. As soon as the ship docks, the captain does not waste any time sending her straight to the auction block where an Englishman named Lord Welch purchases her while he is intoxicated.
En route to his plantation, Welch falls from the wagon but his horse team escorts the young woman to freedom. Thereafter, she helplessly roams through the wilderness until Yellow Wolf finds her on his way to his very first vision quest. Although she is near death, and he is aware of her slave status, he stays with her. The young warrior nurses her back to health. Once she is strong enough to travel, he takes her back to his village. Will they overcome language barriers and racism? Legend has it that every group of people, which entered the United States, came freely or nearly free. However, Africans are the only group of people that came in chains. Meanwhile, the Europeans also enslaved Chinese immigrants and they even tried enslaving First Nation People. According to Lauber,
“The colonists followed the same method of obtaining cheap labor. Frequent raids were made upon the rancherias or Indian settlements to secure agricultural workers, herdsmen, and domestic servants. Children were usually in demand, but adults were also taken. The practice continued, indeed, until late in the eighteenth century. The treatment of Indian slaves apparently differed in no essential degree from that of the Negroes. The slaves of the two races lived and worked together; but since the Negroes were in the majority, the treatment of slaves in general was determined by the ordinary usage which the whites accorded them in particular. Individual cases of cruelty and harsh treatment undoubtedly existed as they must exist in all cases of servitude; but Indian slavery never became an institution sufficiently well organized to make harsh treatment general.”
I hope readers will enjoy Loves’ Soft Voice and keep in mind, although it is historical fiction, it is based on truth. Some folks might not like hearing or knowing the truth but the truth stands when all else fails. In fact, I have often heard “the truth will set us free.”