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Repossessing Ernestine: A Granddaughter Uncovers the Secret History of Her…

de Marsha Hunt

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40No n'hi ha cap487,916 (2.83)2
Not a typical family memoir, yet a quintessentially American story, Repossessing Ernestine recounts one woman's impassioned attempt to unravel the dramatic story of her long-lost grandmother. On her journey, she explores the crucial role that color plays in the dysfunction of an American family. Marsha Hunt, an African-American novelist, actress, and singer, returns to this country from her home in Europe to visit - and meet for the first time - a light-skinned, blue-eyed grandmother, all but abandoned by her family. Ernestine has spent some fifty years of her adult life in mental hospitals and is now more than ninety years old and living in a run-down nursing home in Memphis, her hometown. As Marsha Hunt investigates the heartbreaking story of her family, she discovers ancestors like a German-Jewish slaveowner and his black mistress; Ernestine's redoubtable mother, Mattie - the only dark child among her thirteen brothers and sisters - who raised her daughter's sons when Ernestine was committed; Blair T. Hunt, Marsha's grandfather, a prominent minister and educator in Memphis whose "child" bride, Ernestine, was also his high school pupil; and she even learns more about her own father, a Harvard-educated psychiatrist who commits suicide weeks after a second marriage. Reclaiming Ernestine as she enters the middle period of her own life, Marsha Hunt uncovers an intimate history of race in this country. More timely than ever, Repossessing Ernestine is a book about the inextricably intertwined lives of black and white in American history, and about the powerful and inevitable links that bind together the two races and the members of a single family.… (més)
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Not a typical family memoir, yet a quintessentially American story, Repossessing Ernestine recounts one woman's impassioned attempt to unravel the dramatic story of her long-lost grandmother. On her journey, she explores the crucial role that color plays in the dysfunction of an American family. Marsha Hunt, an African-American novelist, actress, and singer, returns to this country from her home in Europe to visit - and meet for the first time - a light-skinned, blue-eyed grandmother, all but abandoned by her family. Ernestine has spent some fifty years of her adult life in mental hospitals and is now more than ninety years old and living in a run-down nursing home in Memphis, her hometown. As Marsha Hunt investigates the heartbreaking story of her family, she discovers ancestors like a German-Jewish slaveowner and his black mistress; Ernestine's redoubtable mother, Mattie - the only dark child among her thirteen brothers and sisters - who raised her daughter's sons when Ernestine was committed; Blair T. Hunt, Marsha's grandfather, a prominent minister and educator in Memphis whose "child" bride, Ernestine, was also his high school pupil; and she even learns more about her own father, a Harvard-educated psychiatrist who commits suicide weeks after a second marriage. Reclaiming Ernestine as she enters the middle period of her own life, Marsha Hunt uncovers an intimate history of race in this country. More timely than ever, Repossessing Ernestine is a book about the inextricably intertwined lives of black and white in American history, and about the powerful and inevitable links that bind together the two races and the members of a single family.

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