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The author makes it clear exactly where these prohibitions came from. Plantation society was rigidly hierarchical, after all, particularly on the heels of the Civil War and the economic hardships that came with Reconstruction. The only permissible path upward for hard-working, ambitious African Americans was indirect. A meteoric rise, or too obvious an appearance of prosperity, would be swiftly punished. To enable the slow but steady advance of their clan, the black women of Cane River plot, plead, deceive, and manipulate their way through history, extracting crucial gifts of money and property along the way. In the wake of a visit from the 1880 census taker, the aged Elisabeth reflects on how far they had come.
When the census taker looked at them, he saw colored first, asking questions like single or married, trying to introduce shame where there was none. He took what he saw and foolishly put those things down on a list for others to study. Could he even understand the pride in being able to say that Emily could read and write? They could ask whatever they wanted, but what he should have been marking in the book was family, and landholder, and educated, each generation gathering momentum, adding something special to the brew.In her introduction, Tademy explains that as a young woman, she failed to appreciate the love and reverence with which her mother and her four uncles spoke of their lively Grandma 'Tite (short for "Mademoiselle Petite"). She resented her great-grandmother's skin-color biases, which were as much a part of Tademy's memory as were her great-grandmother's trademark dance moves. But the old stories haunted the author, and armed with a couple of pages of history compiled by a distant Louisiana cousin, she began to piece together a genealogy. The result? Tademy eventually left her position as vice president of a Fortune 500 company and set to work on Cane River, in which she has deftly and movingly reconstructed the world of her ancestors. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Unbelievable book. So interesting. I read it and passed it on to my family. All of my 3 sisters and my Mother read it in a matter of days!!! Great, great, great.Published 3 days ago by sandy
I have enjoyed this book reading with my book review club. IT is well written and new information for me that I was not aware of.Published 9 days ago by joyce moneta
Based on emotional impact, it was hard to read. After reading the first half of the book, I had to take an "emotion break" before finishing it. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Alwynelle S. Ahl
To me the most amazing part of this book, is the acceptance on the part of Elisabeth and Philomene, what is to them, "the way of the world" and that trying to fight it is... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Chris Metivier
Great so far. My biggest problem is with the paper it is printed on. It sheds particles that are an irritant to my eyesPublished 17 days ago by gramma