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In 1958 Georgia, the shade of a 13-year-old black girl's skin can make the
difference in her fate. Tangy Mae is the smartest of her mother's ten
children, but she is also the darkest-complected. The Quinns--all different
skin shades, all with unknown fathers--live with their charismatic,
beautiful, and tyrannical mother, Rozelle, in poverty on the fringes of a
Georgia town where Jim Crow rules. Rozelle's children live in fear of her
mood swings and her violence, but they are devoted to her. Rozelle pulls
her children out of school when they are twelve years old so that they can
help support her by going to work--as domestics, as field laborers, or down
at the farmhouse, where Rozelle takes her oldest daughters to turn tricks
for her. Tangy Mae has been offered the opportunity to apply to an
integrated high school, and might even have the chance to graduate if she
can somehow avoid her sisters' fate. Can she break from Rozelle's grasp
without violent--even fatal--consequences?--

Delores Phillips—The Darkest Child

  • 9781616958725
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