At a time when many Americans feel that we may finally, after over 150 years, be coming to some form of recognition of the Black experience, Michael J. Robinson’s From Chains to Freedom gives voice to the pain and loss suffered by so many long ago. Only time will tell if this moment will be the change we are seeking but Michael’s poems will live on, regardless.
The poems here are tightly constructed images of the slave experience with the sea and salvation the only comforting companions to the world they were forced into.
This collection provides a history and imagery that cannot be forgotten. They are designed to be reread and reconsidered for their messages. Recently poetry has enjoyed popular recognition with several collections nudging out novels on the NY Times bestseller list. Hopefully this interest will extend to such vital collections as From Chains to Freedom as it a work that deserves to be recognized. It serves as a historical reminder of an American mindset that is too easily misrepresented in our culture. It brings the pain of the past to the present.