Somerset Homecoming

Dorothy Spruill Redford, Author, Michael D'Orso, Photographer Doubleday Books $18.95 (266p) ISBN 978-0-385-24245-5
It is a tribute to the coauthorsD'Orso is a Virginia journalistthat Redford herself seems to be telling us this marvelous story directly, in her own clear voice. She was born into a black family of Columbia, N.C., in 1943, lived for periods in New York and, when she was 33, became a social worker in the South. She felt then the need to learn about the people she came from and began a research project that took 10 years. She discovered that although libraries and other archives contain a wealth of historical information about white familiesthe records quoted here add considerable interestthere were no black histories. She realized she had to look in county courthouses for bills of sale for slaves. There are moments of drama, high humor and sorrow in Redford's odyssey. It's a joy to share her triumph at identifying her forebears, then bringing together 2000 of their descendants in 1986. The homecoming was at Somerset Place, the plantation in North Carolina where their ancestors were slaves. Redford heads a project to rebuild Somerset as a national heritage. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC and QPBC alternates. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Paperback - 166 pages - 978-0-8078-4843-2
Paperback - 266 pages - 978-0-385-24246-2
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-0-8078-6664-1
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