I recently acquired this book after viewing Roots in its entirety for the first time and although I had learned a decent amount about slavery before coming in to contact with both of these fascinating, moving works, Ms. Thomas' book, despite its relative brevity, is a valuable addition to any library of African American history. I feel it shares many parallels with Roots, as it starts where Roots does--in Africa, introducing one to lovely African rhythms with the accompaning CD. The CD is worth the price of the book alone and contains wonderful performances in its 18 tracks including Kumbaya, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, John Brown's Body and many more, all performed as they would have been performed originally, a capella. A beautiful book filled with intriguing photographs, documents, facts & anecdotes which surprise and enlighten you. Well worth the time & money!