From my list on first-person accounts of twentieth century South.
Who am I?
I was raised on a dairy farm in Tennessee, and I grew up steeped in my grandparents’ stories about the “hard times before the War” and the challenges of making a living on the land as the southern farm economy was transformed by industrialization and modernization. I learned to appreciate the deep insights found in the stories of so-called ordinary people. As a historian, I became committed to using oral history to explore the way people understood their lives, in my own research and writing and in my teaching. I assigned all five of these books to my own students at Converse University who always found them to be powerful reading.
Melissa's book list on first-person accounts of twentieth century South
Why did Melissa love this book?
Separate Pasts is McLaurin’s account of his 1950s boyhood in the tiny hamlet of Wade, North Carolina, years when the Jim Crow system still reigned. He describes the complex, interconnected lives of the town’s white and black families, and his own confusion as he tried to make sense of the contradictions he observed in his world. A painfully honest account of a white boy’s reckoning with the legacies of segregation and oppression, McLaurin reveals how his own relationships with black neighbors undermined the racist beliefs he was taught.