Proud Shoes Short Story

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Proud Shoes is an emotional account of Pauli Murray’s African-American family from mid-nineteenth through mid-twentieth century. Her American family was free blacks and enslaved blacks, poor whites and wealthy whites, all contributing to the family tree. This is an absolutely fascinating family history. The time is a few decades after the Civil War, in the early 1900's. It's mostly the story of Murray's grandmother, who had been a slave (and a mistress of the household at the same time), and her grandfather, a scholar and teacher and Civil War veteran who brought education to the newly freed slaves following the Civil War. Her grandmother was born after a plantation son raped his sister's slave. This was an interesting family history told by Pauli Murray, a founder of NOW (National Organization for Women.) She pays homage to her grandparents and great grandparents, documenting the life of "freedmen" of color as well as the lives of slaves who later become free. The story addresses so many aspects of race in American history, pre- and post-Civil…show more content…
Her story is one of success she achieved personally and professionally. Her family's experiences also show the horror of how persons of color were treated, including the story of a neighbor boy who was killed by a white man who said he trespassed, but the crime was never prosecuted. Proud Shoes should be required reading for Americans it really is informative on the race relations during those times. It was a little hard for me to get through the Civil War military history, but that doesn’t take anything away from the important of the book to American history. It was a painful reading about treatment of the slaves in this book, But necessary to relay the message in the story. I would recommend this story to other people interested in race relations in American history. Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family. By Pauli Murray. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956. Pp.
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