A moving and wonderful book with several pages of black and white photographs.
The last section of the Prologue tells it better than I could:
This is the story of a family that is black, white and Indian.
This is the story of how color separated that family.
This is the story of a family that accepted its color but rejected its race.
This is the story of a family that accepted its race but rejected its color.
This is the story of how the black family prospered and became visible.
This is the story of how the white family fled and became invisible.
This is the story of the black family's search for the white family from one generation to the next.
This is the story of the white family's denial of the black family.
This is the story of how the family lived with the choices it made. This is the story of choices still to come.
This is all one story.
This is the story of my family.
This is probably one of the most saddest yet haunting books I have ever read. It's about a family that basically had a white Irish mother and a African American father, the kids ended up being quite light skinned; that generation then brought in another generation, and this is where the story gets sad; the father had a set of kids, and one of the last kids to be born was a young girl, who is the author's mother; When the mother dies, the father, oldest brothers and sister basically abandons her to family friends, and become white. To some, it may seem a survival tactic, but for others, it's just heartbreaking; When she tried to reach out to them through the years, they denied ever knowing her. It took over 50 years and many changes for the surviving sister to finally acknowledge that she had a sister, and they finally reconciled. Highly recommended and Ms Haizlip's other books, In the Garden of Our Dreams(about her marriage),and Finding Grace,(the sequel to this book)are not to be missed.
In the United States, people are often judged by their skin color. Shirley Haizlip's book reveals the complexity of the issue by searching for her family's roots. She discovered that she had African, European, and Native American ancestors. Perhaps most interesting was the fact that many of her "black" relatives chose to pass into the dominant "white" society. This book will make you wonder about your own ancestry, and perhaps make you reconsider what race means in modern America. amazon