"Negroland: A Memoir" by Margo Jefferson


TITLE: Negroland

AUTHOR: Margo Jefferson

PUBLISHER: Pantheon

PUBLISHED DATE: September 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0307378453

PAGES: 256

Stunning. I almost don't even know what to write.

This was a tender thoughtful memoir that explores, not just the history of Jefferson's family, but of the complexities of race and the damage that prejudice, colorism, and elitism brings on all castes within the African American community. Negroland is boastful, name dropping, critical while romanticizing, and goes on to detonate a bomb: the author and her contemporaries - for all of their achievements, striving for perfection, and separation from the lower classes of African Americans - Negroland crumbles. For all their perfectionism and being better than both white america, and the majority of black america, the descendants of the black aristocracy seem to plummet. Posh women murdered at the hands of criminal minded husbands, young men returned home from serving their countries as junkies, others, like the author, achieved high acclaim but at a price - longing for suicide and plagued with deep depression. I hung onto each word!

Recommendation: This one is a must read.

Audience: Millennials and up, but thoughtful teens may enjoy. I'd have totally loved this book when I was a teen, but then I was a total history nerd.

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