Synopses & Reviews
When the author and his brother were forced to leave Virginia and return to his father's family in Muncie, Indiana, they discovered that their father was a black man who has "passed" in white society. Life on the Color Line tells Williams' story. revealing how his courage and perseverance helped him overcome years of poverty, racism, and intolerance. Film & TV rights optioned by De Passe Entertainment. of photos.
"A triumph of storytelling as well as a triumph of spirit." Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
"A triumph of storytelling as well as a triumph of spirit."--Alex Kotlowitz, award-winning author of There Are No Children Here
As a child in 1950s segregated Virginia, Gregory Howard Williams grew up believing he was white. But when the family business failed and his parents' marriage fell apart, Williams discovered that his dark-skinned father, who had been passing as Italian-American, was half black. The family split up, and Greg, his younger brother, and their father moved to Muncie, Indiana, where the young boys learned the truth about their heritage. Overnight, Greg Williams became black.
In this extraordinary and powerful memoir, Williams recounts his remarkable journey along the color line and illuminates the contrasts between the black and white worlds: one of privilege, opportunity and comfort, the other of deprivation, repression, and struggle. He tells of the hostility and prejudice he encountered all too often, from both blacks and whites, and the surprising moments of encouragement and acceptance he found from each.
Life on the Color Line is a uniquely important book. It is a wonderfully inspiring testament of purpose, perseverance, and human triumph.
"Heartbreaking and uplifting... a searing book about race and prejudice in America... brims with insights that only someone who has lived on both sides of the racial divide could gain."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
A stunning journey to the heart of the racial dilemma in this country.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Open House Cafe
Chapter 2 The Midas Touch
Chapter 3 "Captain of My Soul"
Chapter 4 Rooster
Chapter 5 Learning How to Be Niggers
Chapter 6 Bob and Weave
Chapter 7 "Saved"
Chapter 8 Hustling
Chapter 9 Politics and Race
Chapter 10 The Color Line
Chapter 11 Accept the Things I Cannot Change
Chapter 12 Choices
Chapter 13 Go for It!
Chapter 14 Big Shoulders
Chapter 15 Persistence
Chapter 16 Teammates
Chapter 17 "Born in the Wilderness and Suckled by a Boar"
Chapter 18 State of Indiana v. Gregory H. Williams
Chapter 19 Mike: Like a Moth to Flames
Chapter 20 Tottering Kingdoms and Crumbling Empires
Chapter 21 Your Truly Mother