web site hit counter The Song and the Silence: A Story about Family, Race, and What Was Revealed in a Small Town in the Mississippi Delta While Searching for Booker Wright - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Song and the Silence: A Story about Family, Race, and What Was Revealed in a Small Town in the Mississippi Delta While Searching for Booker Wright

Availability: Ready to download

In this moving memoir, Yvette Johnson travels to the Mississippi Delta to uncover true the story of her late grandfather Booker Wright whose extraordinary act of courage would change both their lives forever. “Have to keep that smile,” Booker Wright said in the 1966 NBC documentary Mississippi: A Self-Portrait. At the time, Wright spent his evenings waiting tables for White In this moving memoir, Yvette Johnson travels to the Mississippi Delta to uncover true the story of her late grandfather Booker Wright whose extraordinary act of courage would change both their lives forever. “Have to keep that smile,” Booker Wright said in the 1966 NBC documentary Mississippi: A Self-Portrait. At the time, Wright spent his evenings waiting tables for Whites at a local restaurant and his mornings running his own business. The ripple effect from his remarks would cement Booker as a civil rights icon because he did the unthinkable: before a national audience, Wright described what life truly was like for the Black people of Greenwood, Mississippi. Four decades later, Yvette Johnson, Wright’s granddaughter, found footage of the controversial documentary. No one in her family knew of his television appearance. Even more curious for Johnson was that for most of her life she’d barely heard mention of her grandfather’s name. Born a year after Wright’s death and raised in a wealthy San Diego neighborhood, Johnson admits she never had to confront race the way Southern Blacks did in the 1960s. Compelled to learn more about her roots, she travels to Greenwood, Mississippi, a beautiful Delta town steeped in secrets and a scarred past, to interview family members and townsfolk about the real Booker Wright. As she uncovers her grandfather’s compelling story and gets closer to the truth behind his murder, she also confronts her own conflicted feelings surrounding race, family, and forgiveness. Told with powerful insights and harrowing details of civil rights–era Mississippi, The Song and the Silence is an astonishing chronicle of one woman’s passionate pursuit of her own family’s past. In the stories of those who came before, she finds not only a new understanding of herself, but a hopeful vision of the future for all of us.


Compare

In this moving memoir, Yvette Johnson travels to the Mississippi Delta to uncover true the story of her late grandfather Booker Wright whose extraordinary act of courage would change both their lives forever. “Have to keep that smile,” Booker Wright said in the 1966 NBC documentary Mississippi: A Self-Portrait. At the time, Wright spent his evenings waiting tables for White In this moving memoir, Yvette Johnson travels to the Mississippi Delta to uncover true the story of her late grandfather Booker Wright whose extraordinary act of courage would change both their lives forever. “Have to keep that smile,” Booker Wright said in the 1966 NBC documentary Mississippi: A Self-Portrait. At the time, Wright spent his evenings waiting tables for Whites at a local restaurant and his mornings running his own business. The ripple effect from his remarks would cement Booker as a civil rights icon because he did the unthinkable: before a national audience, Wright described what life truly was like for the Black people of Greenwood, Mississippi. Four decades later, Yvette Johnson, Wright’s granddaughter, found footage of the controversial documentary. No one in her family knew of his television appearance. Even more curious for Johnson was that for most of her life she’d barely heard mention of her grandfather’s name. Born a year after Wright’s death and raised in a wealthy San Diego neighborhood, Johnson admits she never had to confront race the way Southern Blacks did in the 1960s. Compelled to learn more about her roots, she travels to Greenwood, Mississippi, a beautiful Delta town steeped in secrets and a scarred past, to interview family members and townsfolk about the real Booker Wright. As she uncovers her grandfather’s compelling story and gets closer to the truth behind his murder, she also confronts her own conflicted feelings surrounding race, family, and forgiveness. Told with powerful insights and harrowing details of civil rights–era Mississippi, The Song and the Silence is an astonishing chronicle of one woman’s passionate pursuit of her own family’s past. In the stories of those who came before, she finds not only a new understanding of herself, but a hopeful vision of the future for all of us.

30 review for The Song and the Silence: A Story about Family, Race, and What Was Revealed in a Small Town in the Mississippi Delta While Searching for Booker Wright

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    This is one of the better books I have read that mixes a personal memoir with a foray into past history. The author did a fantastic job blending the two into each other, a cohesive and moving story about a young woman trying to come to terms with her blackness and learning about the grandfather she never knew. She was raised in San Diego, her father played for the Chargers, a privileged upbringing as far as money, but she never felt loved by her mother and never realized nor understood the barri This is one of the better books I have read that mixes a personal memoir with a foray into past history. The author did a fantastic job blending the two into each other, a cohesive and moving story about a young woman trying to come to terms with her blackness and learning about the grandfather she never knew. She was raised in San Diego, her father played for the Chargers, a privileged upbringing as far as money, but she never felt loved by her mother and never realized nor understood the barriers of her race. The Mississippi Delta, the town of Greenwood, where her mother and father came from, where her grandfather was one of the few blacks that not only had money but owned his own restaurant called Booker's Place. He was also a waiter at Luscos, a preeminent restaurant in the Jim Crow south. Does an amazing job describing the genesis of the Delta and what life was like for the blacks who resided there. Some of this is very difficult to read, even after the civil Rights movement things were not any better, in fact trying to shove these new laws down the throats of many resistant whites made things even more difficult. But, as she finds out when she travels down there searching for her roots, information about her grandfather, things were not clear cut, she found some goodness even in those she felt were evil, or acted in evil ways. The writing is very good and I applaud the author in what I felt was some very fine and fair story telling, her trying to understand both sides of the movement. Not being southern myself I learned much from this book, and from many different viewpoints. The book mentions a documentary that her grandfather was in that opened the floodgates, making real what blacks actually thought of how they were treated and bringing the problems in this town into the light. Need to see if I can find that anywhere.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I liked this one. It is nonfiction that covers much of the history regarding the fight for civil rights and what life was like without these rights. I liked that this book covered the good, the bad and the ugly. The research included many different sources and it was presented well in this book. It bounced around in time, but it seemed to be reigned in tightly. I also liked that this was about the author's ancestral roots. I love family history stories. So 4 stars. I liked this one. It is nonfiction that covers much of the history regarding the fight for civil rights and what life was like without these rights. I liked that this book covered the good, the bad and the ugly. The research included many different sources and it was presented well in this book. It bounced around in time, but it seemed to be reigned in tightly. I also liked that this was about the author's ancestral roots. I love family history stories. So 4 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Literary Jewels

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Song and the Silence by Yvette Johnson is a powerful memoir that tells the story of when the author who wanted to explore the heritage that stems from a place deep in the south of Mississippi, she finds an NBC News documentary of her deceased grandfather, Booker Wright. Viewing this she learns that it is not your average puff piece praising him but his real account of what it is like to be a black man living in the south during an era when you are judged by the color of your skin. More diggi The Song and the Silence by Yvette Johnson is a powerful memoir that tells the story of when the author who wanted to explore the heritage that stems from a place deep in the south of Mississippi, she finds an NBC News documentary of her deceased grandfather, Booker Wright. Viewing this she learns that it is not your average puff piece praising him but his real account of what it is like to be a black man living in the south during an era when you are judged by the color of your skin. More digging and research has Johnson wondering what were the true circumstances of her grandfather's death. This story was wonderfully written and prior to this book, I was not familiar with Booker Wright but upon completion, I most certainly did not hesitate to research who this man was. I commend this man for his courage because he knew speaking out could cost him his job as it cost him something more valuable, his life. I rate this work 5 stars!!! Overall a good read and a great black history lesson. Reviewed by Kisha Green for Literary Jewels Format: Paperback

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    The basis of the book-the search for her grandfather's story-was a good one. I would have preferred more of his story. Civil rights history, particularly in Mississippi, is a topic in which I have much interest, hence my picking up this book. I would have preferred less of a memoir and more of a history or sociological study about the Delta, current vs. former Greenwood, etc. This is just one person's opinion. You may like it so don't let me spoil it. The basis of the book-the search for her grandfather's story-was a good one. I would have preferred more of his story. Civil rights history, particularly in Mississippi, is a topic in which I have much interest, hence my picking up this book. I would have preferred less of a memoir and more of a history or sociological study about the Delta, current vs. former Greenwood, etc. This is just one person's opinion. You may like it so don't let me spoil it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ptaylor

    Yvette Johnson travels to Greenwood, MS, to learn about her grandfather, Booker Wright, who was murdered the year before she was born. Her writing is eloquent, and we get a sense of the man and the cultures - white and black - of 1960's Greenwood. Difficult to read and impossible to put down, Johnson's memoir should be required reading. Highly recommended. Yvette Johnson travels to Greenwood, MS, to learn about her grandfather, Booker Wright, who was murdered the year before she was born. Her writing is eloquent, and we get a sense of the man and the cultures - white and black - of 1960's Greenwood. Difficult to read and impossible to put down, Johnson's memoir should be required reading. Highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Dryja

    Yvette Johnson was a member of my classic lit book club in Phoenix. It was with great anticipation and celebration that I received my copy of Yvette's book. What a thrill to read her words so beautifully written. Her book is part memoir, part Civil Rights history, and part biography of her courageous grandfather, Booker Wright. She seamlessly weaves the stories together, unveiling her feelings around race and family, while revealing a family secret that helped changed the course of history. The So Yvette Johnson was a member of my classic lit book club in Phoenix. It was with great anticipation and celebration that I received my copy of Yvette's book. What a thrill to read her words so beautifully written. Her book is part memoir, part Civil Rights history, and part biography of her courageous grandfather, Booker Wright. She seamlessly weaves the stories together, unveiling her feelings around race and family, while revealing a family secret that helped changed the course of history. The Song and the Silence is a way into the conversation about race that we so desperately need right now. This isn’t to sound preachy. Yvette certainly is never preachy in her book. She is real and authentic about her experiences, both in her life and what she discovered in her search for more about her grandfather. Through The Song and the Silence, Yvette graciously opens the door and invites us in and, I for one, am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of her community.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    Outstanding!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Britton

    I don’t typically review or recommend books but this one has so few on goodreads and amazon I thought I’d give it a quick plug. This memoir describes the author’s search into her past, focusing on her grandfather who lived during the civil rights era in Mississippi. This story examined race and history (of the deep south) in a way that seemed to pull the layers back more slowly, circling issues from a distance, which for me really helped it all sink in. Thank you Ms. Johnson for the work you did I don’t typically review or recommend books but this one has so few on goodreads and amazon I thought I’d give it a quick plug. This memoir describes the author’s search into her past, focusing on her grandfather who lived during the civil rights era in Mississippi. This story examined race and history (of the deep south) in a way that seemed to pull the layers back more slowly, circling issues from a distance, which for me really helped it all sink in. Thank you Ms. Johnson for the work you did to share your story and your grandfather with the world! I really enjoyed your book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    I was browsing the pages of Net Galley and ran across this gem of a memoir. Often when someone that isn’t famous gets an autobiography published by a major publisher, it’s a hint to the reader that the story will be riveting. Such is the case here; my many thanks go to Net Galley and Atria for the DRC, which I read free in exchange for this honest review. You can order it now' it comes out Tuesday, May 9. It probably says a great deal, all by itself, that I had never heard of Booker Wright befor I was browsing the pages of Net Galley and ran across this gem of a memoir. Often when someone that isn’t famous gets an autobiography published by a major publisher, it’s a hint to the reader that the story will be riveting. Such is the case here; my many thanks go to Net Galley and Atria for the DRC, which I read free in exchange for this honest review. You can order it now' it comes out Tuesday, May 9. It probably says a great deal, all by itself, that I had never heard of Booker Wright before this. I have a history degree and chose, at every possible opportunity, to take classes, both undergraduate and graduate level, that examined the Civil Rights Movement, right up until my retirement a few years ago. As a history teacher, I made a point of teaching about it even when it wasn’t part of my assigned curriculum, and I prided myself on reaching beyond what has become the standard list that most school children learned. I looked in nooks and crannies and did my best to pull down myths that cover up the heat and light of that critical time in American history, and I told my students that racism is an ongoing struggle, not something we can tidy away as a fait accompli. But I had never heard of Booker. Booker Wright, for those that (also) didn’t know, was the courageous Black Mississippian that stepped forward in 1965 and told his story on camera for documentary makers. He did it knowing that it was dangerous to do so, and knowing that it would probably cost him a very good job he’d had for 25 years. It was shown in a documentary that Johnson discusses, but if you want to see the clip of his remarks, here’s what he said. You may need to see it a couple of times, because he speaks rapidly and with an accent. Here is Booker, beginning with his well-known routine waiting tables at a swank local restaurant, and then saying more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM-zG... So it was Booker and his new-to-me story that made me want to read the DRC. Johnson opens with information from that time, but as she begins sharing her own story, discussing not only Booker but her family’s story and in particular, her own alienation from her mother, who is Booker’s daughter, I waited for the oh-no feeling. Perhaps you’ve felt it too, when reading a biography; it’s the sensation we sometimes feel when it appears that a writer is using a famous subject in order to talk about themselves, instead. I’ve had that feeling several times since I’ve been reading and reviewing, and I have news: it never happened here. Johnson’s own story is an eloquent one, and it makes Booker’s story more relevant today as we see how this violent time and place has bled through to color the lives of its descendants. The family’s history is one of silences, and each of those estrangements and sometimes even physical disappearance is rooted in America’s racist heritage. Johnson chronicles her own privileged upbringing, the daughter of a professional football player. She went to well-funded schools where she was usually the only African-American student in class. She responded to her mother’s angry mistrust of Caucasians by pretending to herself that race was not even worth noticing. But as children, she and her sister had played a game in which they were both white girls. They practiced tossing their tresses over their shoulders. Imagine it. Johnson is a strong writer, and her story is mesmerizing. I had initially expected an academic treatment, something fairly dry, when I saw the title. I chose this to be the book I was going to read at bedtime because it would not excite me, expecting it to be linear and to primarily deal with aspects of the Civil Rights movement and the Jim Crow South that, while terrible, would be things that I had heard many times before. I was soon disabused of this notion. But there came a point when this story was not only moving and fascinating, but also one I didn’t want to put down. I suspect it will do the same for you. YouTube has a number of clips regarding this topic and the documentary Johnson helped create, but here is an NPR spot on cop violence, and it contains an interview of Johnson herself from when the project was released. It’s about 20 minutes long, and I found it useful once I had read the book; reading it before you do so would likely work just as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xxeh... Johnson tells Booker’s story and her own in a way that looks like effortless synthesis, and the pace never slackens. For anyone with a post-high-school literacy level, an interest in civil rights in the USA, and a beating heart, this is a must-read. Do it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    A friend of mine just came back from a memoir-writing workshop. We talked about it on a walk around the duck pond near our houses. You need to have a narrative, my friend said. You need to have yourself as a character. You need to have a focus and a lens and a frame and basically, you can't be all rambly (like I often am). The Song and the Silence is rambly. It's a unfocused. Neither means that it isn't compelling, but it's muddled. Johnson discovers her grandfather appeared in a 1960s television A friend of mine just came back from a memoir-writing workshop. We talked about it on a walk around the duck pond near our houses. You need to have a narrative, my friend said. You need to have yourself as a character. You need to have a focus and a lens and a frame and basically, you can't be all rambly (like I often am). The Song and the Silence is rambly. It's a unfocused. Neither means that it isn't compelling, but it's muddled. Johnson discovers her grandfather appeared in a 1960s television documentary about desegregation attempts in Mississippi. Her grandfather, a black singing waiter at a white's only restaurant, detailed how no matter what, around the white restaurant patrons, he smiles. He smiles but that doesn't mean he's happy. As the book's blurb says: he described what life was truly like for the black people of Greenwood, Mississippi. Except the book isn't about Johnson's grandfather. It's about Johnson discovering about her grandfather, and maybe it would just be better about her grandfather. I'm rarely a fan of making the discoverer the protagonist rather than the person who is being discovered. As an example, I don't really need to read about Johnson having a fight with her mother about whether her kids can watch some Disney movie or not. If that fight could somehow be tied back into the struggle Johnson's grandfather endured, then maybe. But the clumps where Johnson writes about her own life are not deftly woven in to her grandfather's story. Johnson works hard to make this a memoir, when maybe this was better suited as a non-fiction about her grandfather's life. Her writing is stronger not writing about herself. I just don't know what I was supposed to take away from this experience. The Song and the Silence by Yvette Johnson went on sale May 2, 2017. I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Moore

    In this part-memoir, part historical family investigation, the author seeks to uncover the story of her grandfather, Booker Washington, who lived and owned a restaurant in the small town of Greenwood, Mississippi in the 1950’s and 60’s. Booker gained brief local notoriety after appearing in an NBC documentary explaining the indignities he faced as a waiter at a restaurant serving the town’s upper-class whites, a job he worked in addition to running his own restaurant in the black part of town. A In this part-memoir, part historical family investigation, the author seeks to uncover the story of her grandfather, Booker Washington, who lived and owned a restaurant in the small town of Greenwood, Mississippi in the 1950’s and 60’s. Booker gained brief local notoriety after appearing in an NBC documentary explaining the indignities he faced as a waiter at a restaurant serving the town’s upper-class whites, a job he worked in addition to running his own restaurant in the black part of town. As she travels back to the town that her family came from, she discovers a complex and at times tragic history that awakens in her a sense of the trauma inflicted by the wounds of slavery and discrimination, as well as an appreciation for the resiliency of her family. She seems to find in this investigation a connection to the past that had been missing in her upbringing, far away from the Mississippi Delta where her family history played out. The grandfather’s story, as she uncovers it, is fascinating. His life spans from the early 20th century through the civil rights movement and with it both the author and the reader learn of the injustice that marked and impeded Booker’s life; at the same time, he worked hard to build a life of success. Booker, with his central presence in the rarely overlapping spheres of the black and white cultures of the town, is known to all, and to everyone seems to be a different person. Through his story, the author explores the trauma of slavery and discrimination of the micro level of the family. We learn along with her the tragedy of a history in which slavery wasn’t immediately abolished but transformed into a more nuanced system of oppression through sharecropping and segregation laws. This book is an engaging personal history, and a thought-provoking exploration of the ways in which wounds can reverberate through history and society over the course of generations.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    The Song and the Silence by Yvette Johnson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late April. When the author explores her family history in Greenwood, Mississippi, she finds an NBCNews documentary piece featuring her grandfather, Booker Wright, that is not of the typical man-on-the-street interview that she (or I) expected. At the time (1966), Wright had been an owner of his own business, Booker's Place, and a waiter at Lusco's, a Greenwood fine dining restaurant with an all-white clientele. T The Song and the Silence by Yvette Johnson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late April. When the author explores her family history in Greenwood, Mississippi, she finds an NBCNews documentary piece featuring her grandfather, Booker Wright, that is not of the typical man-on-the-street interview that she (or I) expected. At the time (1966), Wright had been an owner of his own business, Booker's Place, and a waiter at Lusco's, a Greenwood fine dining restaurant with an all-white clientele. The newspeople had originally wanted to film Wright singing the dinner menu (in lieu of it not being written down), but he convinced them to record him during his off-hours. What transpired is, yes, the menu, but also an intense, inbittered code-switching monologue. US newspapers all offer their critique of this TV news story and the owners of Lusco's fire Wright immediately. Amid Wright's life story, his sudden death in 1972 when a disgruntled Booker's Place visitor shot him, and the author's six years of qualitative interview research is her own story within her immediate family, her fierce admiration of her mother (Wright's daughter), a love for her father (a professional football quarterback, whose physical body health was often more important to others than his emotions and/or mental health), and of Greenwood - a town once considered 'magical' by its white residents, but proven otherwise by Wright and full integration in 1970. An all-around intensive, masterful book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    nina

    I picked up this book off the library shelf because the title reminded me of a song that was pervasive in my childhood ( The Sounds of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel). It was in many ways a book about childhood. How that time in our lives is so critical to the person we become as we get older. It is also the story of Yvette's journey in understanding her heritage and where she fits into to her family history. It is a view through the grimiest of windows in which a small spot is cleared away by a s I picked up this book off the library shelf because the title reminded me of a song that was pervasive in my childhood ( The Sounds of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel). It was in many ways a book about childhood. How that time in our lives is so critical to the person we become as we get older. It is also the story of Yvette's journey in understanding her heritage and where she fits into to her family history. It is a view through the grimiest of windows in which a small spot is cleared away by a shirtsleeve to be able to peek through onto our nations past. I felt compelled to write a review as her book touched me and I felt a sort of kinship in her experience. This is both the result of my background as well as the way in which she engages the reader. The cruelty described in her book ( though not something I have never heard before) sent shivers down my spine. Yet, the light and life that Yvette brings to her story, invests in her future and her children's future is like the warmth that washes over you when you come in from the cold. The construction of her grandfathers story intertwined with her own self discovery is a fresh colorful way of relating this story. Her writing is superb and I often found myself re-reading paragraphs or phrases just to have a second opportunity to re-experience the joy of such a well written word.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bill Curtin

    I loved this book. Yvette Johnson is a gracious, insightful commentator not only on the Jim Crow Race Era in the Mississippi Delta but the resulting consequences to all in the area. Her grandfather, Booker Wright became a national figure in an NBC Documentary in 1963. In the documentary, Booker described his relations with people as a waiter at an upscale restaurant in Greenwood, MS. As a result of this interview he is discharged as a waiter. Booker also independently owns his own club called "B I loved this book. Yvette Johnson is a gracious, insightful commentator not only on the Jim Crow Race Era in the Mississippi Delta but the resulting consequences to all in the area. Her grandfather, Booker Wright became a national figure in an NBC Documentary in 1963. In the documentary, Booker described his relations with people as a waiter at an upscale restaurant in Greenwood, MS. As a result of this interview he is discharged as a waiter. Booker also independently owns his own club called "Booker's Place". He is later shot and killed at his club in a disagreement with a customer he was evicting. Johnson has never been told of all these family stories and so does a deep dive look at her grandfather, the black community of Greenwood, the White Citizens Council of Greenwood and other factors that lead to the implicit racism of the Jim Crow South. Her conclusions are fascinating and insightful. This is well worth reading.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Winterberg

    A masterful glance into the dark and rampant racism in the South during a period of unspeakable injustice to African Americans. Johnson uses a powerful narrative to construct a vivid image of life during a time of inequality during the Civil Rights Era. Her plight tells a story of pain, personal searching and insight, racial tension, and she shares her own story of struggle with the racial divide. This is all done with beautiful description of a journey to find something more than a history of o A masterful glance into the dark and rampant racism in the South during a period of unspeakable injustice to African Americans. Johnson uses a powerful narrative to construct a vivid image of life during a time of inequality during the Civil Rights Era. Her plight tells a story of pain, personal searching and insight, racial tension, and she shares her own story of struggle with the racial divide. This is all done with beautiful description of a journey to find something more than a history of one's grandfather. It's power lies in Johnson's own story, too.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Winterberg

    A masterful glance into the dark and rampant racism in the South during a period of unspeakable injustice to African Americans. Johnson uses a powerful narrative to construct a vivid image of life during a time of inequality during the Civil Rights Era. Her plight tells a story of pain, personal searching and insight, racial tension, and she shares her own story of struggle with the racial divide. This is all done with beautiful description of a journey to find something more than a history of o A masterful glance into the dark and rampant racism in the South during a period of unspeakable injustice to African Americans. Johnson uses a powerful narrative to construct a vivid image of life during a time of inequality during the Civil Rights Era. Her plight tells a story of pain, personal searching and insight, racial tension, and she shares her own story of struggle with the racial divide. This is all done with beautiful description of a journey to find something more than a history of one's grandfather. It's power lies in Johnson's own story, too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    B

    I usually enjoy memoirs that are combined with the history of a place, (in this case, Greenwood Mississippi), and this was no exception. The authors tough early life and bouts of depression along with her research on her grandfather is fascinating reading. However, the sections that describe the cruel things done to the African American residents is not for the faint of heart. But everyone should read it. Our society seems to be forgetting or looking away from the terror that was enacted on our I usually enjoy memoirs that are combined with the history of a place, (in this case, Greenwood Mississippi), and this was no exception. The authors tough early life and bouts of depression along with her research on her grandfather is fascinating reading. However, the sections that describe the cruel things done to the African American residents is not for the faint of heart. But everyone should read it. Our society seems to be forgetting or looking away from the terror that was enacted on our fellow Americans.. (And still is.)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kiera

    Yvette Johnson takes us on a journey of discovery as she explores the life of her Grandfather Booker Wright. It is interesting to see what goes on with the individuals and real people behind this powerful documentary. I love reading about this period in history and it didn't disappoint. This book had me all in my feelings, and I felt as if I were actually there as the action was taking place. The book was written from the heart, open and honest. I would definitely recommend this book to others. Yvette Johnson takes us on a journey of discovery as she explores the life of her Grandfather Booker Wright. It is interesting to see what goes on with the individuals and real people behind this powerful documentary. I love reading about this period in history and it didn't disappoint. This book had me all in my feelings, and I felt as if I were actually there as the action was taking place. The book was written from the heart, open and honest. I would definitely recommend this book to others.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Josef

    Excellent read. This book does not only deal with the blatant racism in the South, but also with the author's own coming to terms with living in the post-civil rights USA, and her realization that not all that much has changed since those days. I took this book off the shelves at a library, and was done reading it within a few days. It's hard to put it down, but at times it requires you to just close it in order to digest all the painful history and hatred some people have. Excellent read. This book does not only deal with the blatant racism in the South, but also with the author's own coming to terms with living in the post-civil rights USA, and her realization that not all that much has changed since those days. I took this book off the shelves at a library, and was done reading it within a few days. It's hard to put it down, but at times it requires you to just close it in order to digest all the painful history and hatred some people have.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dee Halzack

    This is an amazing book. I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a better understanding of life in the south before and during the civil rights era. In the form of a memoir that grew from her efforts to learn about and understand a grandfather she never knew, the author conveys a lot about the awfulness of Jim Crow, lynching, and the effects of racism on its targets. More detail on the Emmett Till story than I've ever seen before. And more details on lynching than I've encountered before. This is an amazing book. I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a better understanding of life in the south before and during the civil rights era. In the form of a memoir that grew from her efforts to learn about and understand a grandfather she never knew, the author conveys a lot about the awfulness of Jim Crow, lynching, and the effects of racism on its targets. More detail on the Emmett Till story than I've ever seen before. And more details on lynching than I've encountered before.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    The cruelty and injustice visited upon black people by white people seemed to know no bounds in this Mississippi town. After reading about Booker Wright, I had to watch the video clip that led to his ostracism. I was surprised to see a man speaking his mind, and that this was somehow incredibly insulting. This book really helped to bring home to me the depth of racism and how hard it is to eradicate.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Krissie

    This was such a challenging book for me to read but I so enjoyed it. It forced me to think about race and racism in ways that I never have before. I never considered myself a racist person at all but I think this book required me to do some soul searching and repenting. I will be chewing on this one for a while

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    What a read!!! So well written, this is a shocking story of both profound hatred and redemption. I had no prior knowledge of the people or events though I have read a great deal of US history and never came across any of these names. This was a good read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Super, super book! Full of openness, vulnerability, lucid insight and wisdom. I don’t even know how to describe the structure, but it works! All of the important characters and events are well built and come together at the right time.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Marble

    An interesting story in need of sever editing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Todd Porter

    Yvette Johnson is engaging and thoughtful in sharing her quest to know her grandfather. I recommend this book to anyone seeking to connect with the trauma of life in The South for people of color.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Avis M

    well written and insighful

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Williams

    Yvette Johnson does an incredible job sharing her story and her struggle with identity. She conveys the devastating impact of not knowing one's own family story. Yvette Johnson does an incredible job sharing her story and her struggle with identity. She conveys the devastating impact of not knowing one's own family story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie Ulrich

    excellent gripping info, somewhat redundant at times.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Krystina

    This book is about love, loss, and forgiveness. One of the best books I've read this year. This book is about love, loss, and forgiveness. One of the best books I've read this year.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.