“One Book, One Community” selection weaves tale based on true story


The Disappearing Man by Doug Peterson is the latest selection in the annual One Book, One Community program.

The Disappearing Man was this year’s One Book, One Community pick for Canton. Written by Doug Peterson, The Disappearing Man recounts the true story of Henry Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom in a box on a 27-hour trip to Philadelphia, Pa.

Peterson divides the book into two parts, the 27-hour trip and flashbacks leading up to Brown’s decision to escape slavery.

The Disappearing Man opens the eyes of readers to the harsh reality of slavery. The heart-warming and moving story of Brown inspires readers to look beyond the superficial conceptions of slavery.

The book is told from the point of view of not just Brown but also slave owners, free African Americans, sympathetic white citizens and slave-supporting white citizens.

The diversity in the perspectives creates a well-rounded story that not only sheds light on slavery but also the culture of that time.

The Disappearing Man is a historical fiction novel based on a true story. Peterson uses Brown’s own personal accounts as well as accounts from other people of that time. He draws from historical documents recounting events that happened in Richmond, Va. around the time Brown was living there.

The Disappearing Man is a harrowing story about courage, love, family, freedom and faith that will both move and inspire readers to question everything they thought they knew about slavery.

As a part of the One Book, One Community program, the Johnson Center will be hosting two events free to the public. All are welcomed to join a round table discussion about the civil war and slavery issues on Oct. 12 at 7:00 p.m.

There is also a screening of the film adaptation based on the book produced by local filmmakers Frank Motz and Don Jones. The screening will be held in the Memorial Chapel Oct. 27.

Steena Hymes is a senior staff writer for Aviso AVW.

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