Relationships are bonds between two people that can have a major effect on ones self. Relationships can last a lifetime or make an impact in a short period of time, regardless, there are many lessons that come with them. As seen in Lawrence Hills novel The Book of Negros the relationships Aminata, the main character, encounters at the slave owner Applebys plantation have a major effect on her life and growth process. Whether it was her relationship with her husband Chekura, her relationship with Georgia who acted as a mother figure for her or the owner and slave relationship she has with Appleby, Aminata learns and grows excessively throughout the novel. These three relationships have overall positive effects on Aminata’s life which contribute to her character development throughout the novel. Through several relationships in the novel specifically these three Aminata is able to develop skills that help her survive a very harsh life.
The special bond between Aminata, the protagonist of this novel, and Chekura, her husband, allows Aminata to find the slightest bit of happiness in such a tragic life. Throughout the novel Aminata struggles to continue her battle against the unrealistic beliefs of society. When she meets Chekura who is around her age and has also been taken from his family, the two of them instantly connect. The similarities between their age and background make them immediately form a bond that continues to grow and helps them find a bit of peace in the world. Chekura taught Aminata self worth: you are Beautiful in it(Hill, Page 159), that regardless, what Appleby or any other slave owner said to bring down her confidence, she could be loved and she was: Chekura let his eyes fall over me, and I stood proud before him (Hill, Page 158). He taught her that even in the worst times their could be happiness, in this case he was her happiness. Even the miniscule amount of time they spent together fulfilled her with such pride and joy: chekura was only able to see me once a month or so. I longed for his face, and his voice and the very smell of him that reminded me of home we held each other longer each time he came to visit(Hill, Page 159). The presence of Chekura not only made Aminata feel happiness but freedom from the harsh reality she was living in. Aminata felt as if she was living in a _____ which motivated her to continue fighting and trying to focus on the slightest bit of positivity in her tragic situation.
Even though Aminatas experience with Appleby is a very negative encounter, the long term affective it has on her life is positive. While Aminta lives on Applebys plantation she experiences very traumatic events. These negative encounters help her grow as a person. Aminata realizes that there truly is evil in this world. While realizing that, these events also teach her not to let her guard down and trust people so easily. For instance, I readied myself for a whipping, but he simply uttered an oath- you stupid no good Guinea wench- and sold me to Solomon Lindo(Hill, Page 185). Not only did Appleby betray any trust she may have in him, he also took her innocence from her. At this point there was a total shift in her life, instead of Aminata focusing on the negative, she rose stronger and continued on trying to focus on the positive aspects of her life. Aminatas innocence being taken away without her having any control, ironically sparked a sense of self control inside of her. At this point in time the reality of her being on her own took power over, of her mind. She no longer f