@Kindle ⛈ Proud Shoes Ô eBook or E-pub free

Very slow paced, especially in the middle, but I learned a good bit especially about North Carolina history in the late 1800s This quote about the common human longing for freedom, dignity, and self determination vs practical manifestations of having the privilege to access them in 1860s America really struck me Freedom was not something you could hold in your hands and look at It was something inside you which refused to die, a feeling, an urge, an impelling force but it was other things, too, things you did not have and you had to have tools to get them Few freedmen had tools in 1865 only the feeling, the urge page 168 And this one about the KKK harassing one of the main characters and then beating someone else up was hard to read For a while the Ku Klux Klan disrupted Grandfather s new home He and Grandmother lived in the cottage and slept in the main house Night after night the men sat up with their guns in their hands as the masked Klansmen thundered past on the road In the mornings they found the ground almost cut to pieces from horses hoofs where the Ku Kluxers had ridden round and round the empty little cottage and the schoolhouse Whether it was prayer or whether it was the rumor that the Fitzgeralds were good shots, nobody knows, but after awhile the Klan left them alone In adjoining Alamance County that November, four masked men attacked Alonzo B Corliss, a lame teacher employed by the Friends Freedman s Association They went to his hole, dragged him out of bed in his nightclothes and out of the house without his crutches His clothing was torn from his body as they pulled him through the bushes When they got him to the woods, they flogged his naked body with raw cowhide and green hickory sticks thirty lashes Then they cut off the hair from one side of his head and painted half of his face and shorn head black They kicked him in the side and left him lying unconscious in the cold November night air He lay there for three hours before he came to and tried to crawl home A colored man brought him his clothes and his wife met him with his crutches and together they helped him to his house But when his wife fainted at his bedside, his colored students, braving threats of the Klan, slipped in and dressed his wounds When he had asked his tormentors what harm he had done they told him, Teaching n ggers pages 221 223 An enraging history lesson about public education in NC It was a time when the idea of a public school system supported by taxes was not popular in North Carolina Half the population was illiterate and at least a third was strongly opposed to paying taxes for education The system of free schools guaranteed by the Constitution of 1868 was just getting started Local officials in charge of selecting teachers, fixing salaries, choosing textbooks and maintaining school buildings were often indifferent or downright dishonest The minimum term was four months a year, but it was widely ignored as a mandate and there was no way of enforcing it Often a school term lasted only ten weeks In the year of Aunt Pauline s birth 1870 , only one out of every ten children of school age was enrolled The Conservatives had wrested control of the state legislature from the Republicans that year, and systematically began to whittle down provisions for uniform education The distribution of school funds was removed from control by the state board of education and placed in the hands of the legislature The law which provided for allocation of funds among the counties in proportion to their school population was repealed Without a proportional system, it was easy to starve the colored schools The state superintendent of public instruction had no interest in Negro education and stated that he doubted any system of instruction will ever lift the African to high spheres of educated mind pages 233 234 When Grandfather came south to teach, the little Negro freedmen and the poor white children were or less on an equal footing, shared an abysmal ignorance and went to log cabin schools A half century later the crusade against starving the colored schools was a feeble whimper Each morning I passed white children as poor as I going in the opposite direction on their way to school We never had fights I don t recall their ever having called me a single insulting name It was worse than that They passed me as is I weren t there They looked through me and beyond me with unseeing eyes Their school was a beautiful red and white brick building on a wide paved street Its lawn was large and green and watered every day and flower beds were everywhere Their playground, a wonderland of iron swings, sand slides, see saws, crossbars and a basketball court, was barred from us by a strong eight foot high fence topped by barbed wire We could only press our noses against the wire and watch them playing on the other side I went to West End where Aunt Pauline taught, on Ferrell Street, a dirt road which began at a lumberyard and ended in a dump On one side of this road were long low warehouses where huge barely of tobacco shavings and tobacco dust were stored ll day long our nostrils sucked in the brows silt life find snuff in the air West End looked like a warehouse than a school It was a dilapidated, rickety, two story wooden building which creaked and swayed in the wind as if it might collapse Outside it was scarred with peeling paint from many winters of rain and snow Inside the floors were bare and splintery, the plumbing was leaky, the drinking fountains broken and the toilets in the basement smelly and constantly out of order We d have to wade through pools of foul water to get to them At recess we herded into a yard of cracked clay, barren of tree or bush, and played what games we could improvise like hopscotch or springboard, which we contrived by pulling rotted palings off the wooden fence and placing them on brickbats It was never the hardship which hurt so much as the contrast between what we had and what the white children had We got the greasy, torn, dog eared books they got the news ones They had field day in the city park we had it on a furrowed stubbly hillside They got wide mention in the newspaper we got a paragraph at the bottom The entire city officialdom from the mayor downturned out to review their pageantry we got a solitary official Our seedy run down school told us that if we had any place at all in the scheme of things it was a separate place, marked off, proscribed and unwanted by the white people We were bottled up and labeled and set aside sent to the Jim Crow car, the back of the bus, the side door of the theater, the side window of a restaurant We came to know that whatever we had was always inferior We came to understand that no matter how neat and lea, how law abiding, submissive and polite, how studious in school, how churchgoing and moral, how scrupulous in paying our bills and taxes we were, it made no essential difference in our place pages 268 270 On the obsession with color in the early 1900s It seemed as if there were only two kinds of people in the world They and We White and Colored The world revolved on color and variations in color It pervaded the air I created I learned it in hundreds of ways I picked it up from grown folks around me I heard it in the house, on the playground, in the streets, everywhere The tide of color beat upon me ceaselessly, relentlessly Always the same tune, played like a broken record, robbing one of personal identity Always the shifting sands of color so that there was no solid ground under one s feet It was color, color, color all the time, color, features and hair Folks were never just folks They were white folks Black folks Poor white crackers No count n ggers Red necks Drakes Peckerwoods Coons Two shades lighter Two shades darker Dead white Coal black High yaller Mariny Good hair Bad hair Stringy hair Nappy hair Thin lips Thick lips Red lip Liver lips Blue veined Straight nosed Flat nosed Brush your hair, child, don t let it get kinky Cold cream your face, child, don t let it get sunburned Don t suck your lips, child, you ll make them too n ggerish Black is evil, don t mix with mean n ggers Black is honest, you half white bastard I always said a little black and a little white sure do make a pretty sight He s black as sin and evil in the bargain The blacker the berry, the sweet the juice To hear people talk, color, features and hair were the most important things to know about a person, a yardstick by which everyone measured everybody else From the looks of my family I could never tell where white folks left off and colored folks began pages 270 271 And one of my favorite passages, one of the most lyrical I squashed a rotten persimmon between my toes and wondered what she had in the oven The sunlight filtered through the persimmon boughs and little rainbows appeared on her coffee brown face I wondered why some people were called white and some called colored when there were so many colors and you couldn t tell where one left off and the other began page 260 This book is mainly about the lives of the author s maternal grandparents Murray does a wonderful job of weaving together her family s stories with extensive research to corroborate them and of the time period in general It has accounts of her great grandparents in the 1830s and 40s and moves through the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era It gave me a great sense of the time period in the locations described. @Kindle Ö Proud Shoes È First Published In , Proud Shoes Is The Remarkable True Story Of Slavery, Survival, And Miscegenation In The South From The Pre Civil War Era Through The Reconstruction Written By Pauli Murray The Legendary Civil Rights Activist And One Of The Founders Of NOW, Proud Shoes Chronicles The Lives Of Murray S Maternal Grandparents From The Birth Of Her Grandmother, Cornelia Smith, Daughter Of A Slave Whose Beauty Incited The Master S Sons To Near Murder To The Story Of Her Grandfather Robert Fitzgerald, Whose Free Black Father Married A White Woman In , Proud Shoes Offers A Revealing Glimpse Of Our Nation S History I am so glad to have read Proud Shoes Pauli Murray came from a fascinating family Their story sheds light on so many aspects of race in American history pre and post Civil War race relations, tensions in boarder states, passing for white, family life for slaves, complex emotions surrounding children born of masters raping slaves, and high hopes following the Civil War fading with the advent of Jim Crow laws, just to name a few The fact that much of it is set in Durham, my home town, within a mile or two of where my husband and I bought our first house, and across the street from where my grandparents are buried, only hightened the fascination for me Even without the local connections, our book club agreed Proud Shoes should be required reading for Americans it really is that rich, powerful, and informative I was telling my Dad about it recently, and he recalled being on a panel with Pauli Murray a couple of years before her death, but he has never read the book He is getting it for Christmas I give it a 4 only because it was a little hard for me to slog through the Civil War military history, but that is a function of my knowledge base and interest level, not of the book itself I would highly recommend it This is an absolutely fascinating family history, thoroughly researched and presented with great skill The time is a few decades after the Civil War, in the early 1900 s It s mostly the story of Murray s grandmother, who had been a slave and a mistress of the household at the same time , and her grandfather, a scholar and teacher and Civil War veteran These are persons of very high character, and they are on a life long mission to overcome the bizarre racism of those times and even today.To make things even fun, the locale where Pauli grew up with her grandparents is in Durham, right next to the Maplewood cemetary My great grandfather had been laid to rest there some time before And by now quite a few relatives have joined him as neighbors to Pauli Murray s childhood home.This is truly a great book It came out in 1956, at which time nobody paid it much attention Now it is cast as part of the genre of black women overcoming stuff, but it s way beyond that. This remarkable story is largely set in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough where I now live I gained profound insights into black family life as slaves and free persons prior to the civil war, during that war, and afterwards during reconstruction and into the mid 20th century Pauli Murray was a brilliant writer, story teller, and a scholarly researcher uncovering her own family history I love this book, honor this woman, and greatly admire her family for helping forge the America that I am confident this country is destined to become. This was a powerful book that gives you a different lens of Civil Rights history and told from the eyes of Pauli Murray recounting her great grandparents histories Published in 1956, Murray has really interesting stories of race and the very mixed history of her family and many others which was the norm and not divided into these concepts of purely black and white The second half of the book focuses on her grandfather s desperation to prove himself by fighting in the Civil War and it gets very tedious, but the first half is super interesting and deepens my understanding of families during this period. Loved this book It s a great history of racism. Dr Pauli Murray was my father s first cousin, so it was amazing to learn much of my family s history through her writing Although I never knew her, she was an amazing woman and I m so proud of the shoes she wore. Pauli Murray mural in her hometown of Durham, North CarolinaThis book is a hidden gem the biography of a mixed race family around the time of the Civil War It was published well before its time in 1956 there wasn t much interest in African American family sagas but it is well written and fascinating in part because this isn t a commonly told story Murray was a fascinating character in her own right a prominent civil rights and women s rights activist, a lawyer and finally a priest, genderqueer long before people knew what that was but here she focuses on her family history, which is fascinating in its own right The book is chiefly about her maternal grandfather, who grew up free in the North, joined one of the first black regiments to fight in the Civil War despite the fact that he was already going blind from an injury, and went south after the war to educate freed slaves in the face of white opposition Murray s grandmother s story is quite different she grew up a slave, though she didn t feel like one, being the daughter of a son of the house and mostly treated as such Murray s mother s family would likely be seen as white today, though by the conventions of the time they were black no matter what they looked like All this is mixed in with Murray s memories of being raised by her grandparents in the early 20th century.Overall, I really enjoyed this biography history memoir and found it to be absorbing reading, though somewhat slow going It is a good story and provides a little known perspective on a well known time in American history unlike many books, which approach the time period through fiction, this one is based on family stories and documents and on historical research, and is complex and authentic for it I am definitely interested in reading about Murray and her family.