Essay on Book Review of Sweeter Than Juice

937 Words Jul 21st, 2012 4 Pages
Book Review of “The Sweeter The Juice” by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip
The book “The Sweeter The Juice” is part autobiography and part family narrative of Shirlee Taylor Haizlip and her extended family. Her family narrative is composed of stories about the lineage of her mother and father; these stories were a product of extensive research into historical documents and accounts of relatives passed down from generation to generations. Haizlip intertwines her family stories with historical figures and events allowing for the audience to be able to relate certain characters to the timeline of the history of the United States. As well, she provides personal accounts of her experiences while researching for her family’s past: where she traveled,
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As Shirlee found out from accounts of relatives, when family members visited one another, all windows were closed and covered by thick curtains, no visitors were welcome and the whole entire event was a secret from the outside world. These family members had turned away from their origins and practically abandoned one another for the chance to live not happily but peacefully as someone else. These are the kind of people described by Haizlip who abandoned her mother on the other side of the color line. On the other end of the spectrum, the black end, is the story of Shirlee’s father and his family history. This narrative, Haizlip tells with pride; she mentions how she would have very much liked to meet her Native American grandmother from years back and how she too would have loved to have a name like “White Cloud.” In this narrative there is no shame, no abandonment, and no sadness. This is a story of a family and it’s success despite their skin color and the changing times around them. Her father, as his father before him, had inspired her with confidence and pride in the way she was, dark or light, and from this end of the spectrum she learned to love the dark pigment in her skin. Haizlip tells various stories of black communities in which her father grew up and how her grandfather was respected by his fellow citizen. This is a completely different story than that of her mother. Instead of running away from their darkness, her father’s family reached for it, yearned

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