×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

In The Land Of Cotton
     

In The Land Of Cotton

4.6 6
by Martha A Taylor
 

SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES

SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND

Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement.

Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha's natural curiosity and

Overview

SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES

SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND

Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement.

Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha's natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone's life changed forever.

Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times - a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color.

The year was 1956.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781432734718
Publisher:
Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date:
04/06/2009
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
0.57(w) x 9.21(h) x 6.14(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

In The Land Of Cotton 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
AshALee More than 1 year ago
Throughout history classes during my school, I was told of slavery, and the contempt that remained towards African-Americans in the south long after slavery was abolished. I was told of segregation, and cruelty, and violence and murder. All of this struck a chord with me as wrong, but the books we were given to read were never instrumental in evoking the rage and sadness these events merited. The acts themselves, and the paragraphs they elicited in our history books sufficed in that regard. Then I read Martha Taylor's In the Land of Cotton. I couldn't put this book down for a second. I read it from start to finish with very little interruption. The book reads as a novel, and so is thoroughly captivating in that regard, but then I realized that it's not fiction at all. It's Ms. Taylor's life story growing up during the Civil Rights Movement. The book begins in 1956 with a young Martha telling of her life in Tennessee, where she lives with her affluent grandparents while her parents and younger sister reside in Arkansas. Her parents move to Tennessee and she moves back in with them into a suburb with identical housing, much different than the world she inhabits with her grandparents. One thing they both have in common, however, is their disdain for and distrust of the African-American neighbors. As you'll find within the first few chapters, that distrust and disdain should have been held for someone far closer to home. Martha's father has always had trouble holding down a job, but after finding a job he hires Lucy to be a caretaker for Martha and her sister, while he and his wife are at work. Lucy quickly becomes a confidante to Martha, and Martha doesn't see her as the maid or the nanny but as a friend, and later as part of her family. Martha and Jimmy, a friend in the neighborhood, like to explore as a means to escape their home lives, and one day Martha finds a road and eventually convinces Jimmy to explore with her. It isn't long before Martha is going alone, and she finds the road leads to Lucy's home and family. Although hesitant at first to let Martha stay and visit for obvious reasons, eventually she's welcomed with open arms by Lucy, Lucy's mother,Mammy Grace, and the patriarch of the family, Uncle Jesse. One person she develops a close kinship with immediately is Lucy's nephew Silas. Martha being there isn't always smooth sailing as told in one heartbreaking incident. Eventually, the friendship between Silas and Martha develops into more, much to the the dismay of all involved, including Silas who knows he has no place in Martha's world during the height of the Civil Rights movement, in the south no less. Martha's family moves to Texas, and reeling from the amount of loss in his life, Silas moves to Chicago. They keep in touch mainly through Martha's weekly calls to Lucy, but eventually find their way back into the other's life. After all, they've never left each other's hearts. The goings-on of the era are highlighted extensively throughout the telling of her story, from Kennedy to Martin Luther King to Vietnam, space expeditions and Malcolm X. Before I realized this wasn't fiction, I silently applauded Ms. Taylor's research. But it wasn't research, it was something she lived through. And I think that is the key difference between this and so many other books I've read that take place in this era. Ms. Taylor opens the curtains to show us not just the world as it was then, but her world as it was then.
BookReviewsByDebra More than 1 year ago
The setting is the deep south during the 1956 when racial tensions were running high. The story is based on the life of the author, Martha Taylor. Martha was raised in a family that has contempt for African Americans. While both of her parents worked, Lucy took care of her. Lucy's skin was black. While exploring the woods near her home, Martha discovered Lucy's family and home. At first, they did not want her around fearing the repercussions. After time Martha was accepted as one of Lucy's family. Martha and Silas (Lucy's nephew) form a bond that surpasses mere friendship. Silas resists their bond knowing that it is not safe for Martha. Her family moves to Texas and Silas moves to Chicago. However, they never forget each other and eventually are together again. In The Land of Cotton is beautifully written. Taylor successfully captures the essence of the period: racial tensions, war, space exploration, John F. Kennedy an Martin Luther King. The reader is transported back in time. Many think the late 50's early 60's were a time of innocence, but was it? In The Land of Cotton is a story of relationships, growth, and love.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Martha A. Taylor has managed to write an involving novel, IN THE LAND OF COTTON, that not only develops an excellent, emotionally moving story, but also serves as a fine textbook for the study of the rise of the civil rights movement from the year 1959 to the present. This could have easily been two separate books, one a history of African Americans in America from the time of slavery through the emancipation to the rise of black leaders culminating in the election of a black president. All of that information is in this story in great detail. But this book is also a tender story of the coming of age of Martha, a young white girl in the South, enduring a childhood of abuse and hardship, finding solace in the forbidden land of her black housekeeper Lucy's forest grove home in the still sequestered hatefully prejudiced South, learning the true happiness of living from the impoverished but happy camp of blacks who despite the rules of segregation adopt her into the first true family she has known. There is also a love interest in the young Silas, a bright lad who escapes his destiny of picking cotton by escaping to Chicago to better himself through education. It is this personal aspect of Taylor's writing where she shines most brightly. The manner in which she writes from a young girl's vantage and from the language of her adopted family, allowing us to learn more about African American history simply by taking us through a journey of love, fear, tragedy, faith, death, and hope, gradually changes tempo as each of the characters matures: Martha becomes more in touch with the reality of prejudice, Silas drops his youthful language pattern that marks him as poor, and by the end of the story what could have been a problematic love encounter instead becomes so much more. Taylor is at her best in the first half of the book, writing with a grace and tenderness and understanding of issues in a manner that is a pure pleasure to read. In the second half of the book the events of Martin Luther King, JFK, riots etc seem at times coldly analytical in comparison to the nature of her creation of the opening of her story: she has a tendency to become a bit preachy in her closing comments at the end of the chapters in this second half of the book. But these are minor flaws in a thoroughly professional and warmly sensitive novel, a book that deserves a very wide readership. Highly recommended. Grady Harp
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
"In the Land of Cotton" Martha A. Taylor tells the story of a young white girl growing up in the south in the fifties who becomes friends with a black family. As her parents are busy working and/or not being around, she becomes closer and closer to this other family. Eventually, she falls in love with Silas, a boy from the black family. But remember, this is the south and the Civil Rights Movement is happening and the beginning of the Vietnam conflict is right around the corner. Ms. Taylor writes a heartwarming story of personal growth, change, love and heartbreak through one of the toughest periods of our country's history. One learns much from what she writes in this book.
BevE More than 1 year ago
This is a story of a young white girl coming of age in the Deep South during the racially tense era of the mid 50's and 60's. It's a time when a child's only obligations were school, chores to be done and to be home before dark. But life changes and her parents are struggling to make ends meet. Martha's paternal Grandfather is called to watch her and her younger sister, while they work.She finds that Touze, her grandfather likes to play 'touching' games. When Lucy, a colored woman is hired to be nanny to the girls, Martha's world is forever changed. This story begins in Memphis in 1956 and follows the history of the Civil Rights Movement. If you grew up during this time you will relive history as Martha's story unfolds, if not you'll come to a deeper understanding of how far we have come in less than a lifetime from segregation to inauguration. In The Land of Cotton is a story of determination to be true to one's belief's, both fact and fiction this is a book to enjoy and learn from.
Memphis More than 1 year ago
I could not believe how much I missed out on the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's until I read this book. The author has a unique way of weaving her powerful storytelling around the history makers of that turbulent time. The characters are provocative; the story touching.