LONG JOURNEY HOME: Stories from Black History by Julius Lester

LONG JOURNEY HOME: Stories from Black History

Email this review


More of Julius Lester's recreations of ""the history. . . made by the many,"" these stories -- several based on such elusive sources as a footnote in a Federal Writers Project publication which referred to a place named Ybo Landing in Georgia or ""an occurrence common during the early years of Emancipation"" -- fall definitely into the category of historical fiction. As such, they are remarkably varied: ""Satan on My Track"" is a character study of a wandering blues singer; ""The Man Who Was a Horse"" introduces a black cowboy who rounded up mustangs after first living with the herd and being accepted as its leader; and ""Ben"" looks at slavery from a white man's point of view -- exposing the mutual fears and hatreds which underlie the McGuire family's relationship with a slave who was ""like a member of the family."" Finally, the title story, in which an old man reminisces about the impotent but implacable hatred which his mother and grandmother felt toward whites (""She say she used to spit in all the food before she served it. And she say it wasn't no little bit either. She would work all day getting a whole mouthful. . ."") is a sparkling idiomatic storytelling which moves fluently from humor to anger and pathos. Less polemical than Lester's Black Folk Tales, this collection is both more entertaining and more effective.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1972
ISBN: 0140389814
Publisher: Dial