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Your Blues Ain't Like Mine
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Your Blues Ain't Like Mine

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  6,370 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
"Intriguing...A thoughtful, intelligent work...The novel traces the yeasr from he '50s to the ate '80s, from Eisenhower to George Bush....She writes with simple eloquence about small-town life in the South, right after the start of the great social upheaval of he civil rights movement....Campbell has a strong creative voice."
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
Chicago-born Amrst
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 10th 1993 by Ballantine Books (first published 1992)
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(showing 1-30)
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Alysia
This book was a Mocha Girls Read book club book of the month for the month of February. Our theme was Fictional Black History and this book delivered in so many ways.
Armstrong was a young Black city kid dropped into the South to stay with his Grandma when he is killed for speaking French indirectly to a White woman. No I didn't spoil it for you, that's where the story starts. The book then goes into decades of showing the reader the effects of his death in the community both in Hopewell and Chi
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Garth
Whenever I hear someone rave about The Help, I suggest they read Your Blues Ain't Like Mine. The Help has good parts, but on the whole Your Blues Ain't Like Mine -- a novel based on the Emmett Till murder -- seems so much more realistic and honest about how horrible conditions were for African-Americans in the 1950s South.

Here's a post I wrote about the novel for Newsworthy Novels, a blog that matches novels to today's headlines and events (this entry was for Black History Month): http://newswor
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Shanae
Mar 04, 2010 Shanae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine" and all I can say is, "Wow!" Bebe Moore Campbell (may she rest in peace) wrote a really fantastic historical fiction novel. The language was beautiful! I'm fascinated by Campbell's writing. I am still trying to figure out how she managed to switch narrative voices, so accurately, with so many characters. Each character had a distinct voice. For example, the strongest characters, Delotha, Ida, Mamie, and Doreen all have a completely different v ...more
mark monday
Mar 06, 2012 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
amazing book but having to hear all of my white classmates dissect race was grueling.
Natasha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karenshaff
Mar 16, 2009 Karenshaff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished this book months ago, and it is amazing. The writing, and the story-telling make me feel as though I know the characters personally and have been in the deep south/Chicago amongst them. The story takes place before, during, and somewhat after the civil rights movement, in the south and some parts in Chicago. The blacks working as cotton pickers, getting lynched for the slightest things, the southern "white trash" poor being angry and jealous when the manual labor jobs and such are given ...more
Abby Frucht
Jan 14, 2015 Abby Frucht rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I waited so long to read Bebe Moore Campbell's novels. First, for their realism, their way of plunking you down into the gritty immediacy of whatever is happening in them..and there is a lot happening in them. Her take on black and white, men and women, segregation, integration....priceless. I grieve for this author and the loss of the other books she might have written had she not died so young.
Jessica
Mar 04, 2017 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, owned
The characters are so well written, I wanted to read more about them.
Linda
Dec 28, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Your Blues is a novel that you can't put down, but need to in order to absorb the reality of racism and American history. It parallels history and is peppered with references to actual incidences that occurred during the civil rights (Emmett Till). However, on the merits alone of being an excellent novel and story the characters will stay with you for a long time and may surprise you by feelings of empathy for the most hateful of people. Racism impacts all the lives of these characters in the de ...more
Carol Baldwin
Oct 12, 2012 Carol Baldwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The blues is something in your soul telling you they ain't no hope, shit ain't never gon' be right." (p. 410)

This multi-generational book begins in the 50's in the Mississippi Delta and carries the reader through to the mid-80's. Ms. Campbell did an incredible job of portraying the racial conflicts in this time and place. Definitely a book with adult content, I would highly recommend it to those who are trying to understand the origins of racial tensions in the South. Kudos to Ms. Campbell for
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Tynika
This book was a good read. I leave that you got to know each character and the things they struggle with internally from their past as well as how their roles in society has shaped them. You get the perspective of the black Americans living in rural Mississippi during the 1950's as well as the perspective of the white Americans living in Mississippi. By the end of the book one thing is very clear we all struggle with something regardless of race, class or gender. Your Blues Ain't Like Mines was ...more
Kevin Porter
Jul 18, 2013 Kevin Porter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This modern day fictional retelling of the events that preceded and followed the brutal beating death of Emmett Till is a visual and visceral story rich with memorable and authentic characters, beautiful prose and dialogue that rings true. Bebe Moore Campbell is a powerful storyteller who captures the essence of the characters and times. Campbell is a treasure gone too soon.
Debra Battle
Jun 03, 2011 Debra Battle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes
I miss the fact that there are no more book left to red. I was at a friend's house a went though her book and pick this one to read and after a few pages found one of my three fav. I wish I could have meet her the books became a big part of my joy or reading!!!
Patricia
Jan 15, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-fiction
This book is based on the story of Emmitt Till. It's soooo excellent. BeBe Moore Campbell did an amazing job of writing from the perspective of all of her characters. I think everybody should read this book.
T Neff
Jun 16, 2014 T Neff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an inspiring story! It was a page turner from beginning to end. I really enjoyed it. It was spiritually touching. If you like books like this, you should also "Under the Peach Tree" by Charlay Marie.
Jenn Anne
Jan 03, 2012 Jenn Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. Well-written. Honest about difficult subjects including racism and domestic abuse. An intriguing exploration of the effects of a single violent action, weakness, strength, despair and hope. Well worth your time.
Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard
this is one of the best books I can remember reading.
Mel Bossa
review sometime this week. Very good book.
Elie
Jan 31, 2016 Elie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this book for my Intro to Black Studies class during my last year of college. I was skeptical at first because the points of view jumped around seemed somewhat distant, but as it turns out, it was one of the best aspects of the novel. It begins with an incident of misunderstanding that leads to a murder that incites the community of Hopewell more than any other killing before, leading to many different, yet similar people to become involved and interlinked forever.

Also by having mu
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Marcos
Jul 02, 2015 Marcos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an almost perfect novel, loosely based on the life and death of Emmett Till.

Each character- dissected into two camps, African Americans and the Whites, are all multilayered in which multiple points of view are surfaced, to flesh out the ambivalences and fears many felt as Mississippi and Jim Crow life began to disintegrate.

You have the Armstrong Todd (based on Till) camp, including his mother Delotha, Wydell, and children, Karen, Brenda and WT; and The Cox family, Lily and Floyd Cox- t
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Keyanna Taylor
Sep 30, 2013 Keyanna Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Your Blues Ain’t Like mine written by Beebe Moore Campbell is a truly intriguing and inspiring novel. Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine illustrates the lives of two families, one black one white but both very poor. The book shows these two families journeys through the period of the Civil Rights Movement and experiences with segregation. The characters within the novel help portray real issues and struggles that this time period in the American South encompassed. I enjoyed this book because it ...more
Jamie Howison
Sep 19, 2014 Jamie Howison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in both Chicago and the Mississippi Delta, Campbell's book follows three different (though definitely overlapping...) narrative threads, spanning three generations. It took me a while to get all of the names and characters straight, largely because I was reading the opening chapters in short sittings. When I made time to read good long chunks of the book in extended sittings, all of those characters began to come together, and I found myself caring quite deeply about figures from all three " ...more
Graham
Jan 08, 2014 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fourteen-for-14
I cannot recall why I had been reading the history of Emmet Till, but I had been, and it led me to add this book to my reading list, and then, as you might expect, reds it.

This is an excellent book. Even the title is perfect -- it explores the blues for a variety of different people; the families of the murdered boy, the families of his murderer, friends, local people. And while they all have their tragedies, they are all different, and compelling, and moving. The author loves her characters. It
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Ruth
May 25, 2010 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
332 pages. Donated 2010 May.

"Intriguing...A thoughtful, intelligent work...The novel traces the yeasr from he '50s to the ate '80s, from Eisenhower to George Bush....She writes with simple eloquence about small-town life in the South, right after the start of the great social upheaval of he civil rights movement....Campbell has a strong creative voice."
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
Chicago-born Amrstrong Tood is fifteen, black, and unused to the ways of the segregated Deep South, when his mother
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Jonah Leigh Ramos
This novel is surely revolutionary. Not the thing you'd take for light reading. There's just too much in it. The words are full. The words aren't mediocre and trash. The words paint. Some passages are poetic, but not the type any one will try too hard to get to understand. The metaphors are as understandable as the songs of the soul.

I am fascinated by the way Campbell told the story in different points of view, that you can't just bring yourself to love one character and one character alone. Ca
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Sarah
The joy is that there are whole worlds of authors out there waiting to be discovered. You never know what you will find. I have never read any Campbell before and while I didn't love this book and it isn't perfect, I really liked it and enjoyed the arc of the characters.
This novel is based on the Emmett Till case. Campbell takes the structure of Till's vicious murder and follows the characters in the aftermath of the crime. The book deals with some heavy issues, but was readable and the fates of
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Debra E.
Jul 01, 2015 Debra E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of my favorite writers
Trudy Ackerblade
Jul 09, 2017 Trudy Ackerblade rated it it was amazing
This is a very insightful, beautifully written novel dealing with the struggles of black Americans in Mississippi and Chicago from the civil rights days until the presidency of George Bush Sr. This novel begins with a murder very reminiscent of Emmett Till.
Mwerevu
Jun 09, 2017 Mwerevu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been haunted by this book since reading it. I loved reading it and felt its tale in every bit of my bone. Cried, Despaired, but mostly Inspired! Favourite takeaway - "God don't like ugly!"
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Bebe Moore Campbell (February 18, 1950 – November 27, 2006), was the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and What You Owe Me, which was also a Los Angeles Times "Best Book of 2001". Her other works include the novel Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for ...more
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“That's what a man is supposed to do for his wife. Listen, if a nigger didn't get lynched every now and then, well, there's just no telling what they'd do to us."

"Who?" Lily asked.

"Why, honey, the niggers and our husbands both. I don't care what color they are; men build up steam. And they gotta let it out somewhere. Colored men. White men. They both crazy. Honey, the point is you gotta look at it this way: A whole lotta women can't, "I got a man who'll kill for me." ”
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“In all his imaginings, he had never envisioned her crying. He knew that her son had died, but he'd never expected that her pain might be anything he could recognize, almost as though he believed that Negroes had their own special kind of grieving ritual, another language, something other than tears they used to express their sadness.” 0 likes
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