Griffin intersperses Sitiki's account with commentary that places this extraordinary narrative into historical context, noting the scarcity of slave narratives--particularly slaves born in Africa.
A fine addition to slave narrative reading lists that include The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself.
A choice slice of Florida history. This is not just a book to be admired, but a book to be studied.
--(Winter Haven, FL) News-Chief
Reassessing the literary value of Hemingway's neglected essays and short fiction within the writer's legacy, and the commercial appropriation of the writer as a tourist attraction, richly illustrated with photographs of the writer, his family, his friends and environment and referencing relevant historical documents, the book convincingly reaches both scholarly and lay audiences.
--Florida Historical Quarterly
This book is highly recommended for anyone who dares venture into the experiences of a young child captured and forced into the barbaric world of human bondage. . . . First-person slave-accounts are extremely rare, especially narratives from Florida, thus making Odyssey historically relevant as well.
--Tampa Bay History Volume 24
The publication of any new slave narrative is significant, and we owe Patricia C. Griffin, an independent historical anthropologist, a great debt for bringing Smith's story to light.--
"Should become another well-known name on our list of enslaved voices from the Americas."
--The Journal of Southern History, vol LXXVII No.1
Mirrors the fragmentary experience of enslavement in general, and demonstrates the ways in which writing history often requires as much detective work as archival research.
--Afro-Americans in New York Life and History vol. 35, no.1
One of the two best-known Florida slave memoirs in print.
Represents the only known narrative of a Florida slave. . . . This is an important account of a 19th-century life that flows from freedom to bondage and then back to freedom. It offers modern readers a rarely seen glimpse into a slave’s life during Florida’s transition from territory to statehood.
--Civil War News