Thursday, August 25, 2011

"What happens to the dream deferred?"

Glorious by Bernice McFadden.

Vivid details of Easter Bartlett’s personal journey through decades of history beginning with an intense and frightening South, taking you to the enriching and opportunistic period of the Harlem Renaissance. This book starts off with a horrifying intro that grabs the reader immediately. You are constantly moving from one terrifying experience to a moment of sharing happiness and laughter with Easter. Easter, determined to find happiness, is always moving to another experience in another town surrounded with exploding characters invading her life, sometimes in positive ways but most often leaving her to pack her bags and move on to the next intense experience. Autobiographical sketches of prominent black authors such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, are woven throughout the fictitious life of Easter and leaves the reader inquisitive about the real stories of these real people. McFadden introduces us to James Worley Johnson, the nation’s first black FBI agent, Ota Benga, a 4’11" African man who was put on display in the monkey house of the Bronx Zoo, and Mary Turner, the 2o year old pregnant girl who was viciously and brutally lynched. I don't recall many novels that have so richly and thoroughly dealt with the historical events of Harlem Renaissance period. Bernice McFadden, has done a fabulous job with this novel.

Constantly, I was emotionally drawn to Easter, laughing, crying, and cringing at the injustices. This is one passionate novel that demands discussion! I look forward to hearing from others that have read the book and learning from others that can enlighten me with additional real life connections in McFadden's novel.

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