66 pages 2 hours read

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Song 3 and Part 3Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Song 3 Summary

Part 3’s preceding “Song” section begins in an unidentified African land. Mother-daughter pair Assatou and Kiné live with Kiné’s father’s other wives and children. One day, a group of men kidnaps them; an enemy has accused Kiné’s father of violating Islamic law. Therefore, Assatou and Kiné are being sold into slavery. The men drag Kiné away, while Assatou becomes an enslaved woman in her homeland.

Kiné endures a harrowing 10 days trapped in a dark, crowded room with other enslaved women, only to then endure the torturous Middle Passage before finally arriving in Savannah, Georgia. A man named Baron McCain, who has both European and Indigenous American blood, buys her. At his household, Kiné grows up with the McCain son, Paul, and when the two are grown they fall in love. The McCains allow the union; Kiné and Paul marry and have a daughter, Beauty, whom Kiné constantly regales with memories of Africa.

When Kiné dies, Paul remarries but dies himself shortly afterward. Beauty’s white stepmother sells her to a trader, who forces her on a long march with other enslaved people. When Beauty loses consciousness, a little man named Joe appears to her, showing her a cotton field and telling her that her name will change.

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