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Alamance Reads Selection 2007
In Bainbridge, Alabama, eight-year-old John Gallatin McMillan lll has been the center of his mother's world, cloistered and pampered, until she unexpectedly dies. Taken away by his one remaining relative, his mother's sister, John soon learns that the new home awaiting him in Lower Peach Tree is a run-down tenant farm in the heart of the Alabama Black Belt. There he is thrust into al life alien to anything he has ever known, working long hours in the fields for his violent, alcoholic uncle.
As John fights for his survival, he comes to identify with the struggles of the poor blacks he encounters, and imagines that his salvation lies in escape to Chicago, just as they feel their own survival depends on going north to a new life.
Instead, a twist of fate brings him to The Bend, a black settlement that has become a refuge for outcasts. Here John meets Mama Tuway, a powerful black healer: Ella, a young mother damaged by the ravages of abuse: and Tuway, a man straddling the black and white cultures and leading a dangerous life. But none of them - or anyone in Lower Peachtree - will be ready for the brutal confrontation between blacks and whites, and how it will foreshadow the historic struggle about to sweep across the country.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John and Robert Kennedy.
The automatic cotton-picking machine