Cover image for Sugar of the crop : my journey to find the children of slaves
Title:
Sugar of the crop : my journey to find the children of slaves
Author:
Butler, Sana.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, [2009]

©2009
Physical Description:
xiii, 242 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
In an unprecedented quest to find the last surviving children of slaves, searching from Los Angeles to New Orleans, from Virginia nursing homes to Alabama churches, Sana Butler provides a fascinating picture of African American life and its legacy in the post-Civil War world. Drawing on interviews she began in the summer of 1997 with centenarian sons and daughters of slaves, Butler reveals how African Americans emerged from slavery with a deep commitment to the future and a powerful energy to make the most of their opportunities, large and small. Like immigrants in a new land, freed slaves faced a new America with enthusiastic hopes and dreams for their children. The children of slaves were raised to be independent and often fearless thinkers, laying the groundwork for what would later become the Civil Rights Movement.--From publisher description.
Language:
English
Contents:
Curiosity kills the cat -- New York: pen and paper -- California: sipping on Dom Perignon -- Virginia: one life to live -- Kentucky: master in the family -- Indiana: black man's protection -- Kentucky: "I found Ray Charles" -- Kentucky: pit stops -- Tennessee: interracial adoption -- Mississippi: deaf in one ear -- Alabama: lessons from the grave -- California: the rental market -- North Carolina: driving while black -- South Africa: reconciliation hearings -- Connecticut: "...and grace will lead me home" -- South Carolina: a meeting at the Piggly Wiggly.
ISBN:
9781599213750
Format :
Book

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E185.625 .B88 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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E185.625 .B88 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
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E185.625 .B88 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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E185.625 .B88 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

"Sugar of the Crop" is the story of an unprecedented quest to find the last surviving children of slaves. In a revealing search from Los Angeles to New Orleans, from Virginia nursing homes to Alabama churches, Sana Butler provides a fascinating picture of African American life and its legacy in the post-Civil War world. What she finds will change our sense of black identity in America. Drawing on interviews she began in the summer of 1997 with the sons and daughters of slaves, Sana Butler reveals how African Americans emerged from slavery with a deep commitment to the future and a powerful energy to make the most of their opportunities, large and small. Like explorers in a new land, freed slaves faced a new America with enthusiastic hopes and dreams for their children. Impelled by a generation that exercised political power at a rate never since seen in this country, the children of slaves were raised to be independent and often fearless thinkers, laying the groundwork for what would later become the Civil Rights Movement. As it opens up a new perspective on African American history, "Sugar of the Crop" is not just about the effects of slavery, but essentially about the power of the human spirit and nurturing strength of unconditional love. It will enlighten, haunt, and inspire.


Author Notes

Sana Butler is a special correspondent at Newsweek International .  She started her journalism career as a news assistant at the Wall Street Journal , where she learned how to be a reporter, and she previously worked as a writer at CNBC and as associate producer of Person of the Week at World News with Peter Jennings . She lives in New York City. This is her first book.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

What a fascinating-even tantalizing-subject for study! Who would have imagined that any offspring of freed slaves might still be alive? Butler (special correspondent, Newsweek International) did and in 1997 began a decadelong quest to seek them out to gain insight into the everyday lives of African Americans in light of the closeness of slavery. Her interviewees-in their nineties and hundreds, many frail, and some very near death-share valuable reminiscences of family, home, work, education, and how they became, for instance, the first black man in town to own a Cadillac or the second black attorney in Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, Butler interjects mundane details about her project (including anecdotes about seat-of-the-pants interview preparation and other work practices that betray her as a rather inconsistent researcher), and reflections on her own family to such an extent that the "My Journey" part of her subtitle overshadows the "Children of Slaves" part. Verdict This is an illuminating, affecting compilation of voices-when Butler allows her subjects' voices to dominate. No future author will be able to add to this topic, and the book should be read for this reason alone.-Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Worthington Libs., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

An Excerpt from Sugar of the Crop Everyone I interviewed for this book is now dead. Most died within a year of the interview. Left behind are weeks of tape-recorded conversations that have completely redefined my perspective on American history. Before these talks, I had my own ideas of how the children of slaves grew up. I thought they might have trouble building strong bonds with their children or handing down anything other than the fear and hatred that remained from being considered someone else's property.  After our talks, all those ideas changed. They have been replaced with something more inspirational that has opened the door to an entirely new understanding of human behavior in the face of oppression and the unyielding strength that comes from unconditional love. Excerpted from Sugar of the Crop: My Journey to Find the Children of Slaves by Sana Butler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.