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Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black

af Gregory Howard Williams

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
462954,444 (3.94)3
Gregory Howard Williams and his younger brother, Mike, grew up believing they were white and that their darkskinned father was of Italian descent. Then their parents' marriage disintegrated, their mother departed, and their father's business ventures sank into a sea of liquor. Pursued by debt and personal demons, "Tony" Williams took his two boys to his hometown of Muncie, Indiana, where he was known as "Buster," and where there was no escape from the truth he had hidden for so long. The truth was as plain as the color of Buster's family. Gregory and Mike Williams were the sons of a brilliant and charming but troubled black man who fled the burden of race until need drove him back to his roots. Suddenly Gregory and Mike discovered they were black as well, strangers in a segregated world about which they knew nothing, forced to learn the strategies of survival amid the poverty, prejudice, and agonizing absurdities of a time and place where racism flourished. In this extraordinary and powerful memoir, Gregory Howard Williams recounts his remarkable journey along the color line and illuminates the contrasts between the black and white worlds: one of privilege, opportunity, and comfort, the other of deprivation, repression, and struggle. He tells the story of his father, a self-destructive man who often neglected his children, yet had faith in his eldest son's ability to succeed in the face of nearly insurmountable obstacles. Of "Miss Dora," a loving family friend who gave Gregory and his brother the food they ate, the clothes on their backs, and the roof over their heads - all on a salary of just twenty-five dollars per week. Of the hostility and prejudice he encountered all too often, from both blacks and whites, and the surprising moments of encouragement and acceptance he found from each. Williams tells the story, too, of the divergent paths he and his brother eventually took, one defying the odds and the advice of teachers and counselors to become a lawyer, the other succumbing to the lure of fun, flash, and the quick buck. Life on the Color Line is a uniquely important book. It is a compelling drama of a man straddling two worlds and two heritages, and a wonderfully inspiring testament of purpose, perseverance, and human triumph.… (mere)
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» Se også 3 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
moving, powerful, and inspirational. a true story of hope and survival in the face of a mountain of obstacles. the struggles and betrayal Greg faced are shocking, and his strength and determination astounding. highly recommended. a powerful story of race and prejudice, and one man's struggle to break every boundary. 5 stars ( )
  k8seren | Feb 6, 2014 |
The prose in this is really, really pedestrian. I finished it so fast because I didn't want to spend any more time on it than I had to, not because I wanted to read it. ( )
  cricketbats | Apr 18, 2013 |
"in my life time" series. The story of a man who was born into a biracial family. When his white mother left he moved with his father to Indiana, where he struggled to grow up in a poor and dysfunctional family.
  ammurphy | Nov 10, 2009 |
WOW. That's all I can say about this book. I led the discussion Life on the Color Line for our book club. It was a difficult book to read. I think Williams is on my list of living people I would most like to meet. ( )
  lnlamb | Jan 19, 2009 |
This book tells the interesting story of a boy who thought he was white but turned out to be part black. It was a really eye-opening tale that depicted the racial divide in the 50s and 60s. I sympathized with Greg as he battled discrimination and cheered for him when he overcame his hardships and succeeded in the end. It sent a great message about acceptance and equality. ( )
  obrien.341 | Mar 2, 2008 |
Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
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My old man's a white old man
And my old mother's black.
If ever cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I'm sorry for that
And now I wish her well.
My old man died in a big fine house
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I'm gonna die,
Being neither white nor black!
—Langston Hughes, "Cross"
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To the memories of my father, James A. "Buster" Williams, and my "truly mother," Dora Weekly Smith. They gave me the strength to live this story. And to Sara Whitney Williams, who gave me the courage to tell it.
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The white frame building dwarfed all the other beer joints on U.S. 1 between Alexandria and Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
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Gregory Howard Williams and his younger brother, Mike, grew up believing they were white and that their darkskinned father was of Italian descent. Then their parents' marriage disintegrated, their mother departed, and their father's business ventures sank into a sea of liquor. Pursued by debt and personal demons, "Tony" Williams took his two boys to his hometown of Muncie, Indiana, where he was known as "Buster," and where there was no escape from the truth he had hidden for so long. The truth was as plain as the color of Buster's family. Gregory and Mike Williams were the sons of a brilliant and charming but troubled black man who fled the burden of race until need drove him back to his roots. Suddenly Gregory and Mike discovered they were black as well, strangers in a segregated world about which they knew nothing, forced to learn the strategies of survival amid the poverty, prejudice, and agonizing absurdities of a time and place where racism flourished. In this extraordinary and powerful memoir, Gregory Howard Williams recounts his remarkable journey along the color line and illuminates the contrasts between the black and white worlds: one of privilege, opportunity, and comfort, the other of deprivation, repression, and struggle. He tells the story of his father, a self-destructive man who often neglected his children, yet had faith in his eldest son's ability to succeed in the face of nearly insurmountable obstacles. Of "Miss Dora," a loving family friend who gave Gregory and his brother the food they ate, the clothes on their backs, and the roof over their heads - all on a salary of just twenty-five dollars per week. Of the hostility and prejudice he encountered all too often, from both blacks and whites, and the surprising moments of encouragement and acceptance he found from each. Williams tells the story, too, of the divergent paths he and his brother eventually took, one defying the odds and the advice of teachers and counselors to become a lawyer, the other succumbing to the lure of fun, flash, and the quick buck. Life on the Color Line is a uniquely important book. It is a compelling drama of a man straddling two worlds and two heritages, and a wonderfully inspiring testament of purpose, perseverance, and human triumph.

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