My Confederate Kinfolk
by Thulani Davis

My Confederate Kinfolk
My Confederate Kinfolk
Item# 9780465015559
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From inside front cover:

Starting from a photograph and writings left by her grandmother, beloved African-American novelist Thulani Davis goes looking for the "white folk" in her family, a Scots-Irish clan of cotton planters unknown to her -- and uncovers a history far richer and stranger than she had ever imagined. Along the way she finds tartan plaid, unlikely lovers, a lynching close to home, and Confederate soldiers.

When Davis's grandmother died in 1971, she was writing a novel about her parents, Mississippi cotton farmers who met when in their twenties sometime after the Civil War:  Chloe Curry, a former slave from Alabama, married with several children, and Will Campbell, a white planter from Missouri who had never married.

In this compelling intersection of genealogy, memoir, and history, Davis picks up where her grandmother left off. Inspired by an  1890s photograph of a black teenager dressed in Campbell family tartan, Davis finds herself on a journey to places from Missouri to Mississippi to Alabama, and even back to her home town in Virginia. The Campbells lead her to locate not only their pioneer history but to find the previously unknown roots of her mother's family on cotton farms in  three states, as well as their origin in Sierra Leone. Her journey of personal and intellectual discovery takes her through Civil War archives, where she found the records of the Campbells who fought with Confederate troops; to Silver Creek plantation in Yazoo, Mississippi, where the two branches of her family history became one; to a county near her Virginia hometown where both families started their American journey, completely unknown to each other.

Both personal and political, My Confederate Kinfolk examines the origins of some of our most deeply ingrained notions about what makes a family black or white, and offers an immensely compelling, intellectually challenging alternative.

Thulani Davis is a journalist, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. Among her work are two novels, 1959 and Maker of Saints, several plays, the scripts for Paid in Full and Maker of Saints, and the librettos for Amistad and Malcolm X. She is the author of twol collections of poetry, has worked on several PBS documentaries, and has published in numerous magazines and journals. Davis, who has been a Buddhist priest for sixteen years, lives in New York City.

My Confederate Kinfolk
by Thulani Davis

ISBN: 0465015557
ISBN-13: 9780465015559
Publisher: Basic Civitas Books (Perseus Books Group)
Publication Date: 2006
Format: Hardcover, 324 pages
Book Type: New

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