Walking the Log: Memories of a Southern Childhood

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When Bessie Nickens was a young girl in the 1910s, she traveled throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas as her parents worked in the saw mills, oil fields, and cotton patches of the American South.
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Overview

When Bessie Nickens was a young girl in the 1910s, she traveled throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas as her parents worked in the saw mills, oil fields, and cotton patches of the American South.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nickens, an 88-year-old self-taught painter, engagingly reminisces about her childhood in various African American communities in the South. A series of soft paintings in a flat, nave style capture moments both timeless and historical (e.g., ``Picking Wildflowers,'' ``Hide and Go Seek'' and ``Saturday Night Bath''). Poverty is in evidence (children run barefoot, home is a dilapidated shack) but the joy of childhood transcends. In informal, conversational language, Nickens describes each painting, the activities and people portrayed, and expands as memories surge upon her. For a moment she steps into the past-into the one-room schoolhouse or the flowering woods-then, with a question or a comparison, moves back to the present. This wonderful oral history recreates a world of swings and doodlebugs, Sunday best clothes and kites; adult figures are peripheral. In the same way, racial injustice is touched upon by implication (``I wanted to be a schoolteacher.... That was about the only professional job black people did at the time, teaching school''). An unusually appealing historical document, and an unself-conscious introduction to art. Ages 7-up. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847817948
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 12/1/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 30
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 10.56 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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