As a child I was weirdly obsessed with the Titanic, though why I could never explain. The movie had yet to come out at this point and even when it did I only remember watching it in passing. I do remember being fixated on learning as much as I could about the ship and her doomed voyage. When I learned that there was a book that highlighted a specific passenger on the Titanic I was already hooked and then was even more excited to learn that it was someone who brought a new element of diversity to the often mentioned passengers on the luxurious vessel.
Black Man on the Titanic focuses on Joseph Laroche, a well educated black man who was seen as an anomaly in terms of passenger breakdowns. This biography examines the 24-year-old father who ended up traveling on this ship. The direct descendant of the father of Haitian independence and also related to two Haitian presidents, Laroche not only came from impressive roots, but has his own achievements as an engineer and a promising future. As we follow his journey we learn who he was, where he was going, and what his story was. This story is perfect for those who are looking for history that is often hidden or unknown and if you are someone who already delves into the history of the Titanic this will add to your knowledge bank in a way that no other book can.
Serge Bile, the Ivorian-French writer, found the history of Joseph Laroche while doing research in Haiti and France. This work may be examining one man, but it also showcases a multi-cultural black history and the political and historical elements that found themselves coming together in the story of one man. Beyond sharing a rich history in words, Bile also included images that relate to the story he is telling. These images highlight a variety of events that can be connected to Laroche and his own journey. This acts as a compelling work that allows readers to learn more about a diverse history that all comes together under the umbrella of one man’s life. You can get your copy of Black Man on the Titanic today.