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Book cover of Call to Home: African-Americans Reclaim the Rural South

Call to Home: African-Americans Reclaim the Rural South

by Carol B. Stack, Carol Stack

Publisher: Basic Books
Pages: 226
Paperback
ISBN: 9780465008087






Available to Buy

Overview of Call to Home: African-Americans Reclaim the Rural South

The long-awaited new book by the author of the bestselling All Our Kin is a poignant saga of a reverse exodus: the return of half a million black Americans to the rural South.There have been many books focusing on the black migration out of the South into Northern cities. But few people are aware that over the past 20 years the trend has been in the other direction, with African-Americans moving back south, to some of the least promising places in all of America—places the Department of Agriculture calls “Persistent Poverty Counties.” Carol Stack brings their stories to life in this captivating book. Interweaving a powerful human story with a larger economic and social analysis of migration, poverty, and the urban underclass, Call to Home offers a rare glimpse of African-American families pulling together and trying to make it in today’s America.

Synopsis of Call to Home: African-Americans Reclaim the Rural South

With the novelistic verve that helped make All Our Kin a beloved, classic work, Carol Stack tells the story of a little-known yet compelling reverse exodus—of half a million black Americans in the cities of the North, who heard a call to return home to the rural South. Skillfully evoking the terrain of Carolina towns she calls Burdy’s Bend, New Jericho, and Rosedale, Stack interweaves a powerful human story with a larger economic and social analysis of migration, families, and poverty. Call to Home offers a rare glimpse of African-American communities pulling together, determined to make it in today’s America.

Publishers Weekly

Anthropologist Stack, who in All Our Kin interviewed Southerners who had moved to Northern cities, here reverses the journey, following black returnees south. While her account, which describes people in four pseudonymous communities in eastern North Carolina and South Carolina, is not comprehensive, it is a sensitive portrait of a little-studied phenomenon. The land is poor and demanding; in one family, the patriarch committed suicide to prevent medical bills from taking their precious plot. The ties of family can be rich but also painful: two siblings remain endless burdens on their relatives. While jobs in the North have dried up, black adults have absorbed a history of struggle and won't settle for neo-Jim Crow. The most inspiring part of the narrative involves three women who founded a community service organization called Holding Hands; with her expertise from up north, one of the women knew that local authorities had not taken advantage of federal day care funds. Stack suggests that South and North have grown closer, as both places offer limited opportunity and lingering insecurity. $35,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)

About the Author, Carol B. Stack

Carol B. Stack is professor of women’s studies and education at the University of California at Berkeley. The author of All Our Kin and numerous articles on poverty and social policy, she is also past president of the Society for Urban Anthropology. She was awarded the Prize for Critical Research in 1995 from the Society for the Anthropology of North America. She has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Russel Sage Fellowships. She returns often to a home in North Carolina.

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

Anthropologist Stack, who in All Our Kin interviewed Southerners who had moved to Northern cities, here reverses the journey, following black returnees south. While her account, which describes people in four pseudonymous communities in eastern North Carolina and South Carolina, is not comprehensive, it is a sensitive portrait of a little-studied phenomenon. The land is poor and demanding; in one family, the patriarch committed suicide to prevent medical bills from taking their precious plot. The ties of family can be rich but also painful: two siblings remain endless burdens on their relatives. While jobs in the North have dried up, black adults have absorbed a history of struggle and won't settle for neo-Jim Crow. The most inspiring part of the narrative involves three women who founded a community service organization called Holding Hands; with her expertise from up north, one of the women knew that local authorities had not taken advantage of federal day care funds. Stack suggests that South and North have grown closer, as both places offer limited opportunity and lingering insecurity. $35,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Apr.)

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