The Old African

Author(s) Julius Lester
Illustrator(s) Jerry Pinkney
Age Group 8-12
Publisher Dial Books for Young Readers
ISBN 978-0803725645
Year 2005

Based on an Ybo slave legend and infused with magical realism, this is the story of an elderly slave, Jaja, who can draw the pain of others into his mind and hones this skill when captured in Africa, dragged into a slave ship, and carted to Georgia. Jaja uses the power of his mind to ease the suffering of his fellow slaves and eventually lead them back to Africa. The graphic text and illustrations depict the horror and brutality of slavery.