Friday, 11 September 2009

Book Review: IN THE LAND OF COTTON BY MARTHA A TAYLOR


Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Outskirts Press (2009)
Pages: 256 (Paperback)
ISBN-10:
1432734717
ISBN-13:
978-1432734718








IN THE LAND OF COTTON BY MARTHA A TAYLOR

Martha Taylor was a young white girl living in the Deep South in the mid-fifties when her curious nature led her to follow her caretaker Lucy (a young black woman) into the woods one day where she finds Lucy's family living there. As she visits the family more and more she comes to realise that the color of her skin does not matter to them, they welcome her for who she is.

Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, the story revolves around Martha and Silas, Lucy's nephew, who become good friends and eventually fall in love, despite the racial tensions at the time.

One of the many instances of segregation and fear is outlined here:

I ...... remember getting in serious trouble with Nannie......... She was at the sales counter talking to the clerk and I took less than 20 steps behind her to get a drink from the fountain.

"What are you doing? Can't you read that sign? Do you want to get sick from some disease?" Nannie was livid and remarkably upset.

It scared me so bad I didn't look at the sign until I was standing back beside her. Of course, the sign read 'Colored Only'. I couldn't imagine what all the fuss was about but, everyone was staring at me. What I did must have been despicable. I did notice that the water wasn't cold like the water in the 'regular' fountains. I began to understand that we were special and the colored people weren't.

This was such a fascinating story and as the time moves on into the sixties, Martha and Silas gradually have to move away from each other but still maintain their relationship during all the turbulance of the changing era, leading them both to self-discovery.

This would be a great fictional story on its own but, because it is true, it is all the more moving and one that I found hard to put down. A recommended read for anyone, especially if you're interested in the civil rights movement during the late 50's to late 60's.




TITLE: IN THE LAND OF COTTON
AUTHOR: MARTHA A TAYLOR


Special Thanks to Martha A Taylor and Bostick for sending me this book to review

Kris at Not Enough Books has also read it, you can find her review here

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