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In the Land of Cotton af Martha A Taylor
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In the Land of Cotton (udgave 2009)

af Martha A Taylor (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
195914,575 (4.44)8
SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha's natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone's life changed forever. Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times - a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color. The year was 1956.… (mere)
Medlem:ladybug74
Titel:In the Land of Cotton
Forfattere:Martha A Taylor (Forfatter)
Info:Outskirts Press (2009), Paperback, 270 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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In the Land of Cotton af Martha A Taylor

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» Se også 8 omtaler

Viser 5 af 5
I really enjoyed the story, but this book had the worst editing of any book that I've ever read. The grammatical and punctuation mistakes were endless. I found myself checking to see if I had an early reviewer copy and hadn't noticed because clearly this book needed some major editing. I can normally ignore a mistake or 2, but this book was full of them. Otherwise, I did love the story. I liked Martha as a character and loved that she was able to love and become almost like part of a black family despite the fact that it went against everything she was taught by the ignorant adults in her own family. ( )
  ladybug74 | May 8, 2011 |
Martha Taylor was a young white girl living in segregated Memphis, Tennessee when the story opens in 1956. A variety of stereotypes about African Americans had been taught to her as facts. Fortunately for Martha she was very observant and also quite curious. Martha had enough moxie in her to question every thing she was taught. She weighed what she was told against what she observed and formed her own facts.

One day her mother went back to work and hired Lucy Boyd to work as maid/housekeeper/babysitter. Lucy was "colored folk" and it was the first time Martha actually met an African American. She soon loved Lucy. Being curious, Martha wanted to know all about Lucy - her family, where she lived and so on. But Lucy would not tell Martha much about herself. She told Martha she was hired to keep her mouth shut and just work. So Martha follow Lucy home one evening.

Deep in the woods, called the Cypress Grove, Martha discovered a huge extended family, a whole new way of life. As Martha continued to visit she was loved and accepted by the entire clan. She was treated by the Boyd family as one of their own. Martha developed a special friendship with Silas, a boy three years older. Martha kept her visits a secret because she knew her parents would not approve.

Martha learned so much from this new family. She began to see the world from a different perspective. She saw first hand what it meant to be born with your skin a darker pigment.

"You don't gets it do you, Miz Martha, slavery's more than chains and shackles, it's a state of mind; it's how you feel ever' day of yo' life. It's how you feel ever' time you sees a sign that says, No Niggers Allowed, or ever' time some white man call yo' daddy 'boy'. It's bad when the white folks treat you's worse than they would their dog. They works at keepin' us ignorant. That's why we has as little contact with the white folks as we do. Kinda bad for all the little children here, they thyinhks all white folks is like you. Gonna be bad for them when they finds out different."

Then in 1959 everything changed. Martha's father took a job in Texas and she was forced to move. She continued her friendship with Lucy and Silas, still in secret. They exchanged letters and telephone calls on the pay phone. She managed to see her friends on rare trips back to Memphis. The remainder of the story covers the events in the lives of Martha, Silas and Lucy in parallel with the political and civil rights issues and events up through 1968. ( )
  JoyfullyRetired | Jul 9, 2009 |
In my parents’ and grandparents’ world skin color was an everyday reminder. In my world it had become the color of life. ~Martha Taylor

Martha Taylor’s autobiography chronicles her life in the South starting in 1956 through 1968. She is a lonely white girl in Tennessee who bonds with her black housekeeper, Lucy Boyd. When her father loses his job they have to let Lucy go and unbeknownst to her family, Martha follows Lucy to her home. Martha is taken in by Lucy’s family and meets Silas who is her first black playmate and the love of her life. Though Martha’s family moves to Texas, she keeps in touch with the Boyd family and especially, Silas, who goes to Chicago to get a better education and joins the service to fight in Vietnam. Ms. Taylor includes the history of the civil rights movement, from the Rosa Parks refusal through the assassination of Martin Luther King which is placed in context with the story.

It is a heartwarming, heart-wrenching, coming of age story that takes us back to a time of struggle and destiny. Ms. Taylor’s writing is unpretentious and beautifully written. A must read for old and young alike. ( )
  theeclecticreview | May 27, 2009 |
I finished reading this book last night, and all I can say is "Wow! What a read"! Martha's story begins in 1956 when she is a young girl, living in Memphis TN with her family. She is somewhat of a loner, as her parents are gone quite a bit. She receives much needed attention and love from their housekeeper, Lucy Boyd. Lucy listens to Martha, who comforts her when she is troubled. Martha grows attached to Lucy, so naturally she is devastated to hear that when her father loses his job, they have to let Lucy go. Martha is determined to find where Lucy lives...Lucy cares about her and looks after her, unlike her parents. She sets off on her bike one morning, down a mysterious road, where Martha has seen Lucy go when she leaves to go home. She is so excited to find Lucy's home, along with all of Lucy's extended family and their homes....all located in a little grove they call Cypress Grove, after the huge Cypress tree that is in the center of their circle of homes. Lucy becomes a part of the Boyd family, feeling more like she belongs with them than with her own family. Martha befriends Silas, Lucy's nephew, and they become fast best friends. Martha knows that her friendship with Silas is dangerous, but she doesn't care....she comes to love him and the whole Boyd family. When her father lands a job in Texas and they have to move, Martha is devastated. But she and Lucy stay in touch, and through Lucy she is able to stay in touch with Silas. Things continued to get worse all over the country; Kennedy's assassination, riots, Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, The Viet Nam War....and all the while, Lucy and Silas manage to stay in touch knowing that each time that they are together they are falling more and more in love with each other.

The fact that this book is non-fiction made it even more special. I remember learning about the Civil Rights Movement in history class, but this was so much more than I ever read in any history book. Martha's prose is descriptive, concise and beautiful. This is a story that I will never forget, and I feel honored to have been given the chance to read and review it. Thanks to Martha and Bostick Communications for making that possible. I highly recommend this book to everyone...it is a gem.

"To be part of history is a wonderful experience but, to stand perfectly still holding your breath those precious few seconds when you know history is imminent but before it is written; before it actually becomes history, that is overwhelming." ~Silas Boyd

Five Stars
Publisher: OutskirtsPress.com
272 Pages
ISBN-10: 1432734717 ( )
  missysbooknook | May 25, 2009 |
"In the Land of Cotton" is Martha Taylor's very personal look at one of the most volatile and exciting periods in American history, a time during which the Civil Rights Movement changed race relations in this country forever. It was a decade during which America put a man on the moon, fought one of the most unpopular wars in its history, and finally recognized that all men are, indeed, created equal. Like Martha, I came of age in the South during the 1960s. Unlike her, with the exception of how America's Viet Nam adventure impacted all young men of the time, I was largely an outside observer to what was happening around the country.

When Martha's story begins in 1956, she is a young girl living a relatively sheltered life with her grandparents in Memphis, Tennessee. One year later Martha's parents buy a home in a new Memphis subdivision and she moves back home to live with her parents and little sister, a move that will change her life forever. Martha's parents are happy enough to leave her to herself as long as she is home before dark every evening and she is quick to take advantage of that lack of attention.

Exploring the area on her bicycle one day, Martha is thrilled to discover, deep in the woods near her home, the little family enclave in which Lucy Boyd, her family's black housekeeper, lives. The Boyd family is at first a little uneasy about having Martha around so much, fearing what might happen if the little white girl is noticed there among them. Martha, however, because she understands her own family's racial attitudes well enough to know she can never tell them about her visits, is able to continue them in complete secrecy.

And continue, the visits do. Martha comes to know and love the several generations of Boyds living in their primitive family compound and they, in turn, accept her as one of their own. By the time her parents move the family to Texas, the Boyds have taught Martha more about the world and life than she will ever learn from her own parents, and she has become especially attached to Silas Boyd, a young man about her age.

What happens to Martha and Silas over the next few years is as much America's story as it is their own. Deeply in love though she might be, Martha realizes that her family is never likely to accept her love for a black man. Silas, on the other hand, has the reluctant approval of his mother but knows that being seen with a white girl in the 1960s South could cost him his life. Swept up by the rapidly changing events of the times, their story is one of inspiration and tragedy.

"In the Land of Cotton" is a touching reminder of those times for those of us who lived through them. Just as importantly, it is a very readable personal history of that period for those too young to remember it for themselves, history told in a manner that makes it both vivid and real - something even the best history books seldom achieve.

Rated at: 4.0 ( )
  SamSattler | May 20, 2009 |
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SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha's natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone's life changed forever. Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times - a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color. The year was 1956.

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