This is a powerful story of an African-American man's struggle to raise his son in a period of overt discrimination and segregation in America. Diversified characters portray the reality of the period, as the author skillfully weaves the reader into their lives with humor, pathos and drama. Jess Barker, a hard working laborer, lives with his son, Johnny in the milieu of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1930's and 40's era of the great depression. Joblessness, hunger and depravation are prevalent. Jess defies barriers as he strives to make a living and provide a quality education for his son. Although poverty is a constant obstacle, living is rich and colorful in an integrated setting. Neighbors are supportive and coexist. A series of women play important roles in Jess' life. Although skin color is a barrier, love blooms and tragedy results. A destructive bitterness is born from the seeds of discrimination. Jess' ambition for his son, Johnny's reactions,love and reality bring this novel to a historic conclusion. This definition of our times is a yardstick for measuring social progress in America's history.
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January 07, 2013
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