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The "New York Times" bestseller and Oprah's Book Club Pick--the unique and deeply moving epic of four generations of African-American women based on one family's ancestral past.
Set among the plantations in deepest Louisiana, CANE RIVER follows the lives of five generations of women from the time of slavery in the early 1800s into the early years of the 20th century. From down-trodden, philosophical Suzette, who was born and died a slave, to educated, pale-skinned Emily, whose high ambitions born in freedom become her downfall, we are introduced to a remarkable cast of characters whose struggles reflect the tragedy of slavery and, ultimately, the triumph of the spirit. This deeply personal saga - based entirely on the author's research into her own family history - ranks with the best African-American novels and introduces a major new writer.
A New York Times bestseller and Oprah's Book Club Pick-the unique and deeply moving saga of four generations of African-American women whose journey from slavery to freedom begins on a Creole plantation in Louisiana. Beginning with her great-great-great-great grandmother, a slave owned by a Creole family, Lalita Tademy chronicles four generations of strong, determined black women as they battle injustice to unite their family and forge success on their own terms. They are women whose lives begin in slavery, who weather the Civil War, and who grapple with contradictions of emancipation, Jim Crow, and the pre-Civil Rights South. As she peels back layers of racial and cultural attitudes, Tademy paints a remarkable picture of rural Louisiana and the resilient spirit of one unforgettable family. There is Elisabeth, who bears both a proud legacy and the yoke of bondage... her youngest daughter, Suzette, who is the first to discover the promise-and heartbreak-of freedom... Suzette's strong-willed daughter Philomene, who uses a determination born of tragedy to reunite her family and gain unheard-of economic independence... and Emily, Philomene's spirited daughter, who fights to secure her children's just due and preserve their dignity and future. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Cane River presents a slice of American history never before seen in such piercing and personal detail.
Jacques Lawrence at your service, the voice was deep, resonant and a little lazy; Paulette looked up into warm, brown eyes, and six foot four inches of welled honed muscles.Here, let me. Simone turned her head toward the sound and there he was. Where did the oxygen go? Her eyes locked on the tall, lean, hard body in front of her. She was hot; the air conditioning must not be working. She immediately dropped her eyes down to his shoes, neat, just what I like. At your service, ladies. Jacques was studying Simone while everybody was busy being busy. His eyes covered everything, long legs, just like he liked them, a thin, athletic bodyhere is my chance, thought Jacques. He reached for her arm and she gave him her hand. I dont even like shaking hands and here I am putting my hand in a strangers hand. She quickly removed her hand and started toward the elevator, the handsome stranger dragging the loaded cart, getting on last. The door opened on the sixth floor and Jacques got off pulling the cart with him. Simone got off last. She started down the hall. She could feel his eyes on her as they roamed unchecked over her body. She knew her hips had an extra swing to them and she couldnt help it. As she floated down the hall, Jacques thought, being in this mud hole wouldnt be so bad if she were connected to the registered letter that got him here in the first place.. Now where did that thought come from? Right now, an inheritance is the last thing on my mind.
Out of colonial Natchitoches, in northwestern Louisiana, emerged a sophisticated and affluent community founded by a family of freed slaves. Their plantations eventually encompassed 18,000 fertile acres, which they tilled alongside hundreds of their own bondsmen. Furnishings of quality and taste graced their homes, and private tutors educated their children. Cultured, deeply religious, and highly capable, Cane River's Creoles of color enjoyed economic privileges but led politically constricted lives. Like their white neighbors, they publicly supported the Confederacy and suffered the same depredations of war and political and social uncertainties of Reconstruction. Unlike white Creoles, however, they did not recover amid cycles of Redeemer and Jim Crow politics. First published in 1977, The Forgotten People offers a socioeconomic history of this widely publicized but also highly romanticized community -- a minority group that fit no stereotypes, refused all outside labels, and still struggles to explain its identity in a world mystified by Creolism. Now revised and significantly expanded, this time-honored work revisits Cane River's "forgotten people" and incorporates new findings and insight gleaned across thirty-five years of further research. This new edition provides a nuanced portrayal of the lives of Creole slaves and the roles allowed to freed people of color, tackling issues of race, gender, and slave holding by former slaves. The Forgotten People corrects misassumptions about the origin of key properties in the Cane River National Heritage Area and demonstrates how historians reconstruct the lives of the enslaved, the impoverished, and the disenfranchised.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Cane River comes the paperback debut of an epic work of fiction that tells the dramatic, intertwining story of two families and their struggles to make a place for themselves in a country deeply divided in the aftermath of the Civil War.
This stunning gallery of photos, along with edifying articles, documents the varying cultures of the Cane River region, one of Louisiana's oldest and most historically French areas. 150 color photos.

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