CHILDTIMES: A ThreeGeneration Family Memoir by Eloise & Lessie Jones Little Greenfield

CHILDTIMES: A ThreeGeneration Family Memoir

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Author Greenfield and her mother have assembled the first of these three first-person recollections from the autobiographical writings and oral accounts of Patti Frances Ridley Jones, born in North Carolina in 1884--when a short plank brought home by Papa from the lumber mill would afford a little girl an evening of delight in her new ""seat,"" and when a neighboring family (Patti's inlaws-to-be) gets bleeding fingers pulling out nails from their wind-smashed house so that they can use them to build a new house. In the same direct, down-to-earth manner, Mrs. Jones' daughter Lessie Jones Little, born in 1906, then recalls her youth--chores, parties, silly rhymes, and the Parmele, North Carolina, train station where ""fellas and their girls"" would come ""all the way from other towns"" just to spend a Sunday afternoon. Her daughter Eloise Greenfield's memories are more self-consciously related, her examples of racism more pointed and expository, her treasuring of her family and blackness more explicit, and her recollections less concrete and more deliberately evocative--appropriately so, perhaps, as a summing-up of the sequence. For each of the three memoirs there's a very brief introduction placing the childhood in a general context: post-slavery exploitation of Southern blacks for the first, new technology and emerging black movements for the second, and the Depression for the last--but mostly the emphasis is on the immediate, personal, familycentered experience. A genuine, fondly inscribed record, filled out with photos from the family album.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1980
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell