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Racehoss: Big Emma's Boy

Sample, Albert Race

79 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0890154422 / ISBN 13: 9780890154427
Published by Eakin Press, Austin, Texas, U.S.A., 1984
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Wolfmueller's Books (Kerrville, TX, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Second Printing. Bottom corners lightly bumped, otherwise Fine. Dust Jacket top front,left corner has a small crease and a closed tear, price clipped. A very nice clean, bright and tight copy. 320 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 015434

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Racehoss: Big Emma's Boy

Publisher: Eakin Press, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1984

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

About this title

Synopsis:

“A timeless classic” (San Antonio Express-News), reissued with a new foreword, afterword, and ten percent more material, about a black man who spent seventeen years on a brutal Texas prison plantation and underwent a remarkable transformation.

First published in 1984, Racehoss: Big Emma’s Boy is Albert Race Sample’s “unforgettable” (The Dallas Morning News) tale of resilience, revelation, and redemption. Born in 1930, the mixed-race son of a hard-drinking black prostitute and a white cotton broker, Sample was raised in the Jim Crow South by an abusive mother who refused to let her son—who could pass for white—call her Mama. He watched for the police while she worked, whether as a prostitute, bootlegger, or running the best dice game in town. He loved his mother deeply but could no longer take her abuse and ran away from home at the age of twelve.

In his early twenties, Sample was arrested for burglary, robbery, and robbery by assault and was sentenced to nearly twenty years in the Texas prison system in the 1950s and 60s. His light complexion made him stand out in the all-black prison plantation known as the “burnin’ hell,” where he and over four hundred prisoners picked cotton and worked the land while white shotgun-carrying guards followed on horseback. Sample earned the moniker “Racehoss” for his ability to hoe cotton faster than anyone else in his squad. A profound spiritual awakening in solitary confinement was a decisive moment for him, and he became determined to turn his life around. When he was finally released in 1972, he did just that.

Though Sample was incarcerated in the twentieth century, his memoir reads like it came from the nineteenth. With a new introduction and an afterword by Sample’s widow, Carol, this extended edition of Racehoss: Big Emma’s Boy affords a more complete picture of this extraordinary time in America’s recent past. “As remarkable as Richard Wright’s autobiography Black Boy...These stories are worthy of Twain, Faulkner, and Lardner” (Chicago Tribune). “An outcast’s eloquent testament to life” (Pulitzer Prize­­–winning author, Studs Terkel).

From the Author:

I WAS HEADED TO HELL ON THE DAY I WAS BORN.  BY THE TIME I STOOD SHACKLED AT THE BACKGATE OF THE TEXAS PRISON KNOWN AS "THE BURNIN HELL," I WAS READY.  I DIDN'T CARE ABOUT NOTHING OR NOBODY.  HELL WAS WHERE I BELONGED.  I CAME FACE TO FACE WITH THE DEVIL.  HE BLINKED AND I KEPT ON STEPPING.

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