My Swan Lake Life.
My Swan Lake Life
9781732834705, $17.00, PB, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When Louise Blocker's then eight-year-old grandson asked her two poignant questions (one about slavery and the other about her childhood) she initially gave him brief responses. But upon further reflection, she realized he deserved more thoughtful answers, which would involve embarking on a fact-finding mission, both into her own ancestry and into the history of slavery itself. "My Swan Lake Life: An Interactive Histoir: 80,000 B.C.--May 31, 1965" is the surprising, moving, and remarkable result.
Featuring nearly seven years of dedicated research, Louise explores the often hidden history of African Americans that you likely never read in school textbooks. From the origins of the term "race" to the American Revolution, from the era of slavery to the Civil War, and from decades of Jim Crow to the nine-year Civil Rights Movement, Blocker reveals seldom-told history about a multitude of unsung heroes and heroines (including inventors, educators, and activists) who fought in their communities, on battlefields, and in courtrooms for the liberties American citizens enjoy today.
But "My Swan Lake Life" is not only a riveting history, it is also an engaging memoir--or what the author has coined a 'histoir'. Tracing her ancestry to 80,000 B.C., and using censuses, DNA analyses, and passed-down stories to round out her family's history, Louise takes us on her own journey as a bright but sharp-tongued young child in the segregated South (one who dreamed of going to college and marrying Nat King Cole) introducing us along the way to the resilient, hardworking, and resourceful generations who made her captivating journey possible.
Critique: A unique and inherently fascinating blend of personal memoir and racial history, "My Swan Lake Life: An Interactive Histoir: 80,000 B.C.--May 31, 1965" by Louise Blocker is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and Black Studies supplement curriculum reading lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "My Swan Lake Life" is also available in a digital book format from Amazon Kindle ($5.39), Barnes & Noble, and iTunes Bookstore.