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Freedom's Child : The Life of a Confederate General's Black Daughter

McCray, Carrie Allen

42 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1565121864 / ISBN 13: 9781565121867
Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

First printing. Cloth, 270 pps. with bibliography. WARMLY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR ON THE HALF TITLE. The story of the author's great-grandmother, Malinda Rice, a freed slave who was, in the years following the Civil War, servant to Confederate General John Robert Jones of Harrisonburg, Virginia. She had two children by Jones but died young; the children were raised by the Rice family but their white father publicly recognized his offspiring and paid for Mary's education. She became a college graduate, wife of both the president of Virginia Seminary and upon his death became acting president of that institution. A unique look at the black decendents of a white CSA officer. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # D6095

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Freedom's Child : The Life of a Confederate ...

Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First

About this title


When Carrie Allen McCray was a child, she was afraid to ask about the framed photograph of a white man on her mother's dresser. Years later she learned that he was her grandfather, a Confederate general, and that her grandmother was a former slave. In her late seventies, Carrie McCray went searching for her history and found the remarkable story of her mother, Mary, the illegitimate daughter of General J. R. Jones, of Lynchburg, Virginia. Jones would later be cast out of Lynchburg society for publicly recognizing his daughter. FREEDOM'S CHILD is a loving remembrance of how Mary spent her life beating down the kind of thinking that ostracized her father. She was a leader in the founding of the NAACP and hosted the likes of Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois as they plotted the war against discrimination at her kitchen table. Carrie McCray's memories reward us with an extraordinarily vivid and intimate portrait of a remarkable woman. "Highly recommended for all readers."--Library Journal, hot pick; "I defy anyone to finish FREEDOM'S CHILD without a tear in their eye, a sense of meeting a great spirit, and an inspiration to act with generosity and justice."--Gloria Steinem; A BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB and QUALITY PAPERBACK BOOK CLUB SELECTION.

From the Back Cover:

In Carrie Allen McCray's memories of her childhood is the recurring image of a framed photograph on her mother's bedroom mantelpiece. It showed a white man in uniform. She remembers wondering who he was, but being afraid to ask. This book is the result of her decision to ask. What she found out was that the white man in uniform was her mother's father, John Robert Jones of Harrisonburg, Virginia, a retired brigadier general in the Confederate States Army. Her mother's mother, Malinda Rice, a freed slave, was his servant. Their child, Mary, was born eleven years after the end of the Civil War. Malinda Rice died when her two children by the general were still very young. Though the Rice family raised Mary and her brother, their white father recognized them publicly and paid for Mary's education. For this, he was cast out of society and belittled by contemporary Civil War historians. But Mary grew up to become a college graduate, a teacher, wife of the president of Virginia Seminary and, as his widow, acting president, wife of a leading African-American lawyer, mother of ten children, and lifelong activist working for what she called "full freedom" for African-Americans. Freedom's Child is a loving remembrance of how this beautiful and very determined woman spent her life beating down barriers to equality. Carrie McCray's memories reward us with an extraordinarily vivid and intimate portrait of a woman who overcame the legacy of scandal to pass on a legacy of personal courage, conviction, love, and joy. But perhaps even more remarkable is a black woman's slow acceptance of a white Confederate general as her grandfather and her public acknowledgment of his legacy to her - the courage toaccept kinship across racial taboos.

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