While America is familiar with the modern civil rights movement begun in the 1950s, little has been published about black families throughout the country who had been fighting segregation in their local communities for decades. Their everyday battles (both individual and institutional) built the foundation for the more publicized crusade to follow. In this memoirWhile America is familiar with the modern civil rights movement begun in the 1950s, little has been published about black families throughout the country who had been fighting segregation in their local communities for decades. Their everyday battles (both individual and institutional) built the foundation for the more publicized crusade to follow. In this memoir, Gail Milissa Grant draws back the curtain on those times and presents touching vignettes of a life most Americans know nothing about. She recounts the battles fought by her father, David M. Grant, a lawyer and civil rights activist in St. Louis, and describes the challenges she faced in navigating her way through institutions marked by racial prejudice. The book also illuminates the culture of middle-class black families in those difficult times. Grant details how her family built a prosperous life through the operation of a funeral home, the practice of chiropody (podiatry), and work on the railroad and on pleasure boats that plied the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. During the 1950s the Grant family home on the south side of St. Louis provided a refuge for many celebrated African American entertainers and political leaders who were refused accommodations by the major hotels. The Grant home was notable because it was located in a predominantly white neighborhood.St. Louis was still in the grips of Jim Crow laws, which divided blacks from whites—in schooling, housing, and mostpublic facilities. The black community chafed under these conditions, but it also built its own institutions while fighting against the restrictions that barred blacks from full participation in society.It is the tension between what they could and could not do for themselves that energizes this memoir. The Grant family is emblematic of many black middle-class and blue-collar people who, beginning at the turn of the twentieth century, went to school, paid their dues, and forced America to face its prejudices. Through one act of courage after another, they set in motion a social movement without end....
|Title||:||At the Elbows of My Elders: One Family's Journey toward Civil Rights|
|Number of Pages||:||272 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
At the Elbows of My Elders: One Family's Journey toward Civil Rights Reviews
As a white woman, I can never know what it truly felt like to grow up as a black person in a segregated America. But this author did. And her story of the conditions that she and her family lived in St. Louis, Missouri, is truly eye-opening. The problem is that white people will not read this book because they've been so good at closing their eyes to "other" peoples' problems. And until white people can see life from the other side of the color barrier, there will never truly be an open and honest society in this country. My favorite part of the book were these words: "...how many times on my way to and from school I had passed a house where another colored family lived. And how they were never able, no matter how ferociously they scrubbed the side of their home, to erase fully the word 'NIGGER', painted there in thick, white letters by some anonymous passerby....How many times I did not walk down the aisle as part of a friend's wedding party; their parents just wouldn't allow it. But then again, how one of my girlfriends refused to be her best friend's maid of honor because I wasn't invited to be a bridesmaid. The good and the bad all balled up together."
I read this boook a few years ago and it was a real page turner. The author tells the story of her parents as well as what st louis was like before cicil rights
Check out my comments on this book here.