Among Kings

- The Amazing Adventures of the Congo's African American Livingstone and the Courageous People who Toppled King Leopold II


Among Kings
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An African American missionary-explorer risks everything to save a nation, leading to the first international human rights trial.Inspired by true events, discover the inspiring story of a forgotten African American hero whose passion for human rights helped free an enslaved nation.As a young boy growing up in post-Civil War Virginia, William Sheppard knew he wanted to explore the world. What he never expected was becoming a human rights hero who would change the world forever.'I didn't call Africa. Africa called me.'But as a black American missionary, he faced heartbreaking prejudice in pursuing his passion to explore and to serve.When he finally arrives in the Congo with his unlikely white missionary colleague - Samuel Lapsley - a deep interracial friendship emerges as they face hardships establishing their mission. The two venture deep into the dangerous, Belgian-controlled Congo ruled by the evil King Leopold II. Traveling by steamship 1,000 miles up the Congo River, these two novice missionaries battle lurking pythons, rampant disease, and cannibal tribes.When tragedy strikes the mission, Sheppard's sadness drives him in search of adventure to overcome his grief, discover new kingdoms, and ultimately, his true self. Against all odds, his discoveries bring him global fame where he is celebrated among kings, queens, and presidents.Despite his accomplishments, Sheppard longs to return to America to marry his fiancee - Lucy Gantt - a talented musician and teacher. Letters keep their love alive, but Sheppard has to know if the distance has made their love stronger and will she still go to the Congo to serve beside him?When he returns to America, he's shocked by new Jim Crow laws, virulent racism, and the rising oppression of black American civil rights. The world has changed, but for Sheppard, his relationship with Lucy and his notoriety has only grown stronger.Returning to the Congo mission with Lucy, the stakes are raised when Sheppard makes a shocking discovery: Leopold has enslaved the entire Congo for the rubber trade and his own profit. Unbeknownst to the outside world, slavery and oppression have fallen like darkness over the Congo. Millions have perished.Armed with only a simple camera, the courageous Sheppard knows he has to act.Risking everything, he captures photos, and his images expose Leopold's atrocities to the world, forcing the first international human rights trial in modern history. Sheppard faces an epic courtroom battle. Millions of lives are at stake.Who will win? The monarch or the missionary?Among Kings includes historical photos and Book Club Leader's Guide Questions

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