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Red River (Tademy Family Chronicles, Bk 2)
Red River - Tademy Family Chronicles, Bk 2 Author:Lalita Tademy Four generations of African-American Southerners claw their way up from the ruins of Reconstruction in this engrossing family saga by the author of the bestselling Cane River. Tademy begins with a harrowing recreation of the notorious 1873 massacre at Colfax, La., where 150 blacks, gathered in defense of local Republican officials -and their own... more » citizenship- were killed by white supremacists. Her narrative continues into the 1930s with a fictionalized chronicle of her forebears in the Tademy and Smith clans as they struggle against poverty, buy land and pursue their dream of starting a school for African-American children; their progress challenged by floods, hunting accidents and the Ku Klux Klan. It's an unabashed story of racial uplift (sample dialogue: "We getting old, and it up to us to move the race forward"), but there's plenty of drama and grit to keep it from becoming cloying. Through her characters, the author paints an indelible portrait of rural life under Jim Crow, built around backbreaking farm labor, blood ties that bind and chafe, and the omnipresent fear of a capricious white racism that can undo in a moment the work of a lifetime. Combining family anecdotes with historical research and a rich imagination, Tademy crafts another American epic. Publishers Weekly« less
I really enjoyed reading about the family history of the black families, the Tademys' and the Smiths'. The novel reveals the story of the people of Colfax, Louisian following the Civil War through 4 generations. This novel, based on history was very educational as well as entertaining.
very good read and it really helps one to see a whole different side of the whole post-civil war/reconstruction era, the promises and desertion of the federal government once they got these folks to finally believe they could have something in the world and then not doing anything to assist, knowing that some would never let it happen. imagine having the right to vote for 10 years, and then having it taken away for decades after.