In a warm, gracefully written, moving autobiographical reminiscence, Gates, chairman of Harvard's Afro-American Studies department, recalls growing up in the 1950s and '60s in Piedmont, W.Va., an immigrant working-class town where the only work available to blacks at the local paper mill was loading trucks. Devastated at age 12 by the onset of his mother's depressive disorder, Gates joined a Baptist church and desperately pursued a ``restrictive fundamentalism.'' While avidly embracing ``black power'' in the mid-1960s, he yearned for approval from his father, who was ``hard on colored people.'' This engrossing narrative of Gates's intellectual, political, sexual and emotional awakening is studded with memorable incidents such as his discovery that his mother, years before he was born in 1950, led a pioneering civil rights march. 40,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB alternates. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994 Release date: 05/01/1994 Genre: Nonfiction
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