OVERRIDE

Escape from Slavery

The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America

Francis Bok; As told to Edward Tivnan

St. Martin's Press

In this groundbreaking modern slave narrative, Francis Bok shares his remarkable story with grace, honesty, and a wisdom gained from surviving ten years in captivity.

May, 1986: Selling his mother's eggs and peanuts near his village in southern Sudan, seven year old Francis Bok's life was shattered when Arab raiders on horseback, armed with rifles and long knives, burst into the quiet marketplace, murdering men and women and gathering the young children into a group. Strapped to horses and donkeys, Francis and others were taken north, into lives of slavery under wealthy Muslim farmers.

For ten years, Francis lived alone in a shed near the goats and cattle that were his responsibility. Fed with scraps from the table, slowly learning bits of an unfamiliar language and religion, the boy had almost no human contact other than his captor's family. After two failed attempts to escape-each bringing severe beatings and death threats-Francis finally escaped at age seventeen, a dramatic breakaway on foot that was his final chance. Yet his slavery did not end there, for even as he made his way toward the capital city of Khartoum, others sought to deprive him of his freedom. Determined to avoid that fate and discover what had happened to his family on that terrible day in 1986, the teenager persevered through prison and refugee camps for three more years, winning the attention of United Nations officials and being granted passage to America.

Now a student and an anti-slavery activist, Francis Bok has made it his life mission to combat world slavery. His is the first voice to speak for an estimated twenty seven million people held against their will in nearly every nation, including our own. Escape from Slavery is at once a riveting adventure, a story of desperation and triumph, and a window revealing a world that few have survived to tell.

REVIEWS

Praise for Escape from Slavery

"In 1986, 7-year-old farm boy, Francis Piol Bol Bok traveled to his local market to sell eggs - and left as a slave. A victim of Sudan's decades-long civil war, Bok was brutally abduxted by an Arab militiaman and forced to endure a decade of death threats, lashings, and meals of rotten meat before escaping (on his third try).

Now, as a U.N. refugee living in Boston, the 23-year-old activist shares his journey in this harrowing memoir. As if Bok's story is gripping enough, his poignantly candid commentary on Sudan's Islamic nationalist government and the millions of enslaved Sudanese will prove equally mindblowing."
- Entertainment Weekly, 10/3/03

"[Bok's] sincerity compels, especially when he describes the decade of mistreatment he endured.
For all his emotional strength, though, Bok remains humble. This is a powerful, exceptionally well-told story, equally riveting and heartbreaking. Although legal strides have been made, with the help of people like Bok, the persistence of slavery in the world makes this a work that can't be ignored."
- Publishers Weekly, 10/6/03

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Francis Bok; As told to Edward Tivnan

  • Francis Bok is twenty-three-years old and an Associate at the Boston-based American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG). In 2000, he became the first escaped slave to testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in hearings on Sudan. He speaks throughout the United States, has been featured in The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Essence magazine, and on Black Entertainment Television, and he recently met with President George Bush at the White House. He lives in Boston.

    Edward Tivnan has collaborated on and is the author of several books. He was a reporter and staff writer for Time Magazine and helped create ABC's 20/20. He lives in New York.
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Escape from Slavery

The True Story of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America

Francis Bok; As told to Edward Tivnan

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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