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Cane River    by Lalita Tademy order for
Cane River
by Lalita Tademy
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Lalita Tademy has written a moving account of her heritage. Taking the family back six generations must have been quite a research effort. But it is what she did with the facts that haunts us so deeply. This is the story of slavery first, and then color, and how they each impacted this particular line of women who lived along the Cane River. It is the women, of course, who keep the family together, and these women are strong. They know when and how to push themselves through a society that allows them no place.

Surprisingly, Tademy's account of the white masters and mistresses is almost as moving. Though they are totally blinded by their prejudice, signs of humanity creep into their treatment of people they like to think they own. The irony is that, through the white men's abuse of these women, a family was created, one that could not or would not be denied, despite all social restrictions against it. It is the times when this family is either overtly acknowledged or denied that are the most gripping.

Lalita Tademy's Cane River truly underscores that the only race worth worrying about is the human race.

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