Back to Slavery

Fiction - Time Travel
116 Pages
Reviewed on 08/19/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Rod Ballard is an author, writer, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur that is a native of South Carolina.

Rod is committed to fitness and living a positive life. It is his personal belief that the way you keep yourself up on the outside reflects who you are on the inside. In his spare time he enjoys reading, writing and listening to music of various styles but favors Smooth Jazz and R&B. He also commits to motivational speaking and anything that has a positive role in his life and the lives of others.
Rod Ballard’s future aspirations is to be a best-selling author and to see his works on movie screens.

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Adanna Ora for Readers' Favorite

As a black boy living in Atlanta, Georgia, with a wonderful family and a promising basketball career, loved by his teachers and classmates alike, Royal thought that life couldn’t be more perfect. He based his view on material things and didn’t stop to appreciate that life hadn’t always been like that for his people. Anytime he was reminded of his privileges, especially considering what his ancestors had been through in earlier times, slaving away for their white masters, he brushed it aside. However, a day came when he experienced something that changed his life and his perspective forever. What could that be and what did he experience? Back to Slavery by Rod Ballard is a drama that reviews black history and pinpoints several lessons that can be learned from it.

Back to Slavery has two settings, relating to both historical and modern times. Each comes with a specific language and style, giving the reader a different experience and the ability to enjoy the author’s rich talent for writing. There is also abundant use of suspense to keep readers longing for more and keeping them on their toes the whole time. I love the sense of mystery that surrounds certain events in the story. Above all, the moral lessons are enormous. It helps humans, especially black Americans, to be aware of their history and know the price that their ancestors paid for them to be where they are at the moment. It also preaches the equality of races and the need for everyone to live in peace irrespective of their race or color. The book helps us to be grateful for what we have now and be empathetic toward the plight of others who are not as privileged as we are. I enjoyed reading this amazing work from Rod Ballard, and I hope that others appreciate it as much as I did.

Pikasho Deka

Back to Slavery by Rod Ballard follows a young high school basketball prodigy who reevaluates his priorities after witnessing the sufferings of his past ancestors. Royal Jones is a twelfth-grader who has made a name for himself, playing varsity basketball as a starting center for North Atlanta High School in Georgia. All Royal wants to do is to continue to play basketball through college and buy a house for his single mother in Buckhead. However, Royal doesn't realize his privilege, and after an avoidable robbery, he only worries about losing his favorite Jordan shoes. Soon, after going to bed, Royal finds himself transported to a Southern cotton plantation where he is trapped as a slave. Witnessing the atrocities done to the slaves firsthand, Royal develops a newfound respect for his ancestors and his place in life.

Back to Slavery is a time-traveling drama touching on relevant social issues. Rod Ballard sheds light on the sufferings of black slaves as a reminder for the newer generations never to forget the sacrifices their ancestors made that helped them live the lives they live today. Royal is a talented yet somewhat naive and spoilt young man. His character's evolution from being quite apathetic to black history to someone who is mature and appreciates and acknowledges his heritage was one of the story's highlights for me. I especially enjoyed Royal's relationship with Mr. Sam. All in all, a young adult novella with some critical social commentary.

Diana Lopez

In Back to Slavery by Rod Ballard, Royal is a talented high school basketball player with a simple life, a loving family, and good friends. But his perspective on the world is wrong, and he focuses on superficial things like his sneakers brand. His neighbor, Mr. Sam, an older man, tries to teach him the true value of things, explaining that during slavery Royal would not have had the wonderful things he has now. However, Royal still does not appreciate what he has, but after falling asleep, he wakes up on a cotton plantation as a caught slave. At first, he thinks it's all a dream and that he needs to learn the lesson, but days turn into months, and time passes without him seeing the possibility of returning home. In this way, Royal discovers much about himself.

Back to Slavery is an impressive story with a great lesson about gratitude to reflect on. Royal is a sympathetic character who matures as he goes through the hard experiences of life. But once he sets his priorities, he begins to share and care for others. His nature is noble and collaborative. He learns to accept the little things in life with pleasure. The interactions between the characters were pleasing. On the plantation, Royal meets a girl identical to Breanna, his sister, and the relationship with her is touching. They treat each other as true siblings. In addition, I liked Rod Ballard's narrative style because it is direct, the descriptions are clear, and some intense moments bring realism and make you feel part of the story.