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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.
Anyone who is interested in family history through the generations, should read Cane River. The research done by Ms. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Peg Toms
This book is from Oprah's Book Club. it pulls you in and you cant put it down until it's done. Very interesting reading, complex characters.Published 12 days ago by Jean M. Buckland
I'm from the South, so stories of the South appeal to me. The characters are very well developed and I felt I knew them almost like part of my family. Good plot as well.Published 12 days ago by J. Cox
I really got a much stronger understanding of slavery. Slavery was just bone deep. You didn't even have a last name. Wonderful story about the strength and determination of women. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Nicole Gurley
Love love love this book. Grabs you from the get go and you won't want it to end. Just finished it and going through withdrawl now.Published 1 month ago by Adele
My Daughter had read this book and recommended it to me. I ordered the audio version and thought that I would listen to it going down the road. Read morePublished 1 month ago by poco
This book kept me totally captivated, and made me realize that we should not be so quick to judge other people's motives when we couldn't possibly understand their specific... Read morePublished 2 months ago by MMM
I loved the book! I was impressed with the way it was written. Though I would have put each of the pedigree charts at the END of each section instead of the first.. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jerry Dean
Written from the perspective of working negro slaves, this is a well-written, detailed account of several generations of one family that went through many of the travails of slaves... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Indiamike