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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.
Ms. Tademy's novels brings to life what it was like to be a slave in the concrete. These are real people who endure (or, tragically, not) a most horrific existence. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Bonnie Weinstein
Well written, tells of the same people throughout the changes in society and how these changes affected each family member as they were allowed the freedoms of citizenship.Published 14 days ago by mary Jo Asadorian
I couldn't put it down! I was hoping for an account of the authors immediate legacy towards the end of the book.Published 16 days ago by SoBlessed
A very interesting book especially for anyone who is interested in genealogy as I am. It is a book I would read again.Published 23 days ago by Ann Weber
Profound story , I was touched and engaged fully. I felt I knew the women of cane river. Great read!!!Published 24 days ago by Andrew E. Streebel
I'm currently researching my family's history and this book has done nothing but encouraged me to continue searching. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Latoya Harper
Do not waste your money, it is a racist book against white people! I only gave it one star because I had too.Published 1 month ago by Tessa
As I read this book I found myself going through emotions that one might be if, they were reading about someone they truly loved. Read morePublished 1 month ago by K.M.H.