Sunday, May 6, 2018

Truevine by Beth Macy

Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Length: 448
Published: October 2017

Many moons ago, I set up an recipe where the most popular book-related articles from The New York Times are gathered and delivered to my inbox each week. I am pretty sure I learned about Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South by Beth Macy through this weekly email. I added the book to my ever-growing TBR (to be read) list, and I finally got the opportunity to dive in May.

Truevine is a historical account about two albino brothers who were essentially kidnapped by a circus manager and forced to work in the circus for many years without pay. All the while their mother searched for them eventually finding them and taking on one of the biggest names in the circus industry. 

Macy did a great job of researching, synthesizing, and presenting the information, not only about George and Willie Muse, but also about life in the circus during this time and the Jim Crow south. I cannot summarize this book accurately in one short blog article. There is a lot of detail that provides a greater picture of what people of color had to endure from the early 1900s through present day. My mother asked me why I wanted to read such a painful book. She is correct. It is a painful book, but it is an important one in that it adds another facet of African American history to my personal knowledge. Moreover, it gives me a greater appreciation for my blessings today. We have yet a long way to go, but we have come so far because others have paid the price. Reading George and Willie's story continues to teach me that. 

Recommendation: This is one of my favorite non-fiction reads. I would recommend it to students, to adults, to anyone seeking a greater understanding of the sordid history of our country. We must learn it so we dare not repeat it.  

Until next time ... Read on!


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