Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Red River by Lalita Tademy
This was our July book club book. I can't decide how I felt about this one. It's well written and a great fictionalization of an actual event. But, it's really depressing. It's another example of the ways we (White Americans) have messed up the lives of others. I kept wondering how I can help improve this history. What can I do? How can I improve the lives of those around?
The book is a retelling of a Massacre that our history has called a riot. Blacks in Colfax, Louisiana voted Republican and the Democrats in power were unhappy with the change. So unhappy that they kidnapped the sheriff and stormed the court house. A place held by local blacks who were told that the Federals from New Orleans would be coming to help. Unfortunately, that didn't quite happen. Instead 105 blacks were killed along with 3 whites. THe trials went all the way to the Supreme court and the innocence of the mob of whites was upheld. That's really hard to read and understand.
This book follows the Tademy family - the author's ancestors. They played a key role in the uprising and the following years in the Colfax area - including starting a black school.
i think it's really important to read this - but it didn't make it any easier!!!