Columbus Museum of Art

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson: Ongoing Catalogue of Art and Exhibitions

Return to results page »A School for Pompey Walker (Published Book)

Curator’s comments

A School for Pompey Walker (Harcourt Brace & Company: 1995) was written by Michael J. Rosen and illustrated by Aminah Robinson.

Artist’s comments

"Pompey's tale begins with crows. Horses come next, then dogs. As for humans, aside from Jeremiah Walker, son-in-law of the plantation owner, there's mostly slave-driving, slave-beating "man-unkind."

Working and sleeping in a stable, Pompey dreams of learning, of going to school. But for this boy, born into slavery in the 1830s, the only subjects to learn are the brutalities of plantation life and whatever can be gleaned from overhearing the white children's lessons--until Jeremiah;s hatred of slavery buys Pompey's freedom. But what good is freedom without money, a horse, and a safe passage north?

Pompey devises a plan: he will stand on the auction block, and with Jeremiah's help, escape from whoever buys him. The deception succeeds; splitting the money, the two embark on a dangerous quest across the states, sustained by faith and a dream of grounding a school for black children. From auction to auction, fleeing paddyrollers and bloodhounds, Pompey and Jeremiah become friends-the only true family either knows.

Inspired by a newspaper account of an Ohio man's experiences as well as the recollections of other former slaves, Pompey's take accounts a memorable and harrowing journey of the human spirit. "

From: A School for Pompey Walker, Written by Michael J. Rosen, Ill. by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Harcort Brace & Company San Diego 1995.

Visitors’ comments