BOOK CORNER: Two enslaved women risk it all to save others in ‘All Aboard’

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

In Greenville, Missisippi, in 1859, Ruth and her daughter, Lila, are enslaved on a cotton plantation. Ruth nearly loses her life when she makes the last-minute decision to help Lila escape the plantation.

Ruth’s actions lead to her ostracization by the other slaves, except Big Aunty who recruits Ruth to help devise an escape plan for two boys. Will the two women risk everything to help them? What will Ruth learn about herself during the process of helping others?

Find out in “All Aboard” by Patricia E. Forte.

“All Aboard” was inspired by the characters who came to the author one night.

“They continued to come to me night after night and eventually I wrote their story and gave it a happy ending,” Forte said. “Then the characters returned to let me know they were very displeased with me; most of their stories did not have happy endings.”

It was important for Forte to create a book that sheds light on the history of slavery and the great fortitude that enslaved persons exhibited.

“Our younger generation needs to understand the struggles and trials our ancestors had to endure for us to be where we are today,” Forte said. “Many times, our young ones shun our history of slavery when they should embrace it.”

Forte offers a detailed look into the day-to-day life of the enslaved and all they endured on the plantation including the mental illness, the pedophilia, the loss of loved ones, the longing for their homeland and much more.

“All Aboard” is intended for middle school students, high school students and adults.

“I trust readers will gain some insight into the story of a people who came to this foreign soil with nothing but the clothes on their back. They had nothing,” Forte said. “Not only did they not look like their masters, they knew nothing of their culture — their language, their religion, their food, their way of life. It is because of their resilience and fortitude they were able to survive such horrific conditions.”

In addition to being an author, Forte is retired and conducts writing workshops every Thursdays at the A.C. Bilbrew Library in South Los Angeles. She is based in Compton.

“All Aboard” is available for $13.99 (paperback) and $2.99 (Kindle) on Amazon.


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