Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family s two branches: one that stayed in the South, and the other that settled in Brooklyn. Read more...
Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family s two branches: one that stayed in the South, and the other that settled in Brooklyn. Through the lens of her relatives momentous lives, Buckley examines major events throughout American history. From Atlanta during Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow, to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, and then from World War II to the Civil Rights Movement, this ambitious, brilliant family witnessed and participated in the most crucial events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Combining personal and national history, The Black Calhouns is a unique and vibrant portrait of six generations during dynamic times of struggle and triumph."
- ISBN-13: 9780802124548
- ISBN-10: 0802124542
- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
- Publish Date: February 2016
- Page Count: 336
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-23
- Reviewer: Staff
In this thoroughly engaging family chronicle, Buckley (The Hornes) reveals an expansive tapestry of African-American history since the Civil War. The story begins with her great-great-grandfather Moses Calhoun, a freed slave turned businessman. Buckley never loses sight of the broad canvas, even when her mother, singer and actress Lena Horne, unavoidably becomes the star of the story. Giants of African-American culture, often personally connected to the Calhouns, move fluidly through the pages, among them W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and Walter White. The family itself produced poets, physicians, politicians, military men, educators, and journalists, as well as a gambler and rake connected to the 1919 Black Sox scandal. But as Buckley shows, for all of the comfort of their middle-class status, the Calhouns also lived under the shadow of lynchings, riots, and racist legislation. With branches in both New York City and Atlanta, the family was involved with Reconstruction politics in the South and Depression-era Communist organizing in the North, as well as the civil rights movement. Ever-present details of domestic life (courtship, marriage, children, family squabbles, divorces) hold the sprawling tale together. Buckleys awesomely informative shout-out to the Calhouns is a treat to read. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow and Nesbit. (Feb.)