Caroline's Reviews > I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots

I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots by Susan Straight
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's review
Feb 06, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: nov-dec2009, coming-of-age, black-american, family, human-rights, race-relations, southern-lit, women-womens-rights
Read in November, 2009 — I own a copy

This is my second? third? Susan Straight novel. When I finally took a second to look at the back flap author blurb, you could have punched in the face I was so shocked. She's ...white.... Does...does she live in an all Black neighborhood? Black hubbie?

Anywho, this book is pretty good. If it weren't for having to re-read the Gullah parts, it's almost as good as Blacker than a Thousand Midnights.

The best part is that, although a white woman writing this, this isn't some "poor black people wallowing in misery". Nor is there any sort of coonery. It's not insulting or belittling to our race. All the books I've read, she has the characters overcome adversity and succeed in life. She portrays racism in its true form and does not try to downplay it.

Marietta busts her ass, she is orphaned at a young age and leaves home and works but ends up pregnant. She is a single teenage mom, and seeing the father doesn't want to be a father, she raises her children without anyone's help. She does what needs to be done, even if it's degrading, to give her twins a good life. She doesn't ask for handouts, and she is noble, strong, and proud all at once, having to suffer fear/unease/taunting both from whites and other blacks as a result of her blue-black skin and being very tall.
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05/07 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Donna Davis One of her books explains her background, and why she can get away with this audacity, to write as a Black person when she is white. She grew up in an otherwise exclusively Black part of Riverside, CA, and hence considers herself culturally Black. It happens. She treats the subject of race with sensitivity and confidence, and if you didn't see the picture, you'd never have known, am I right?

message 2: by Angelica (new) - added it

Angelica Hamilton Her children are biracial, so I assume hubby is black. But I can't wait to read this book!

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