Call to Home: African Mericans Reclaim the Rural South

Carol Stack, Author Basic Books $21 (256p) ISBN 978-0-465-00809-4
Anthropologist Stack, who in All Our Kin interviewed Southerners who had moved to Northern cities, here reverses the journey, following black returnees south. While her account, which describes people in four pseudonymous communities in eastern North Carolina and South Carolina, is not comprehensive, it is a sensitive portrait of a little-studied phenomenon. The land is poor and demanding; in one family, the patriarch committed suicide to prevent medical bills from taking their precious plot. The ties of family can be rich but also painful: two siblings remain endless burdens on their relatives. While jobs in the North have dried up, black adults have absorbed a history of struggle and won't settle for neo-Jim Crow. The most inspiring part of the narrative involves three women who founded a community service organization called Holding Hands; with her expertise from up north, one of the women knew that local authorities had not taken advantage of federal day care funds. Stack suggests that South and North have grown closer, as both places offer limited opportunity and lingering insecurity. $35,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-465-00808-7
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