Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem

Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem

by Paula Williams Madison

Hardcover

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Overview

Spanning four generations and moving between New York, Jamaica, and China, a powerful memoir that is a universal story of one woman’s search for her maternal grandfather and the key to her self-identity.

Thanks to her spiteful, jealous Jamaican mother, Nell Vera Lowe was cut off from her Chinese father, Samuel, when she was just a baby, after he announced he was taking a Chinese bride. By the time Nell was old enough to travel to her father’s shop in St. Ann’s Bay, he’d taken his family back to China, never learning what became of his eldest daughter. Bereft, Nell left Jamaica for New York to start a new life. But her Asian features set her apart from her Harlem neighbors and even her own children—a difference that contributed to her feeling of loneliness and loss which she instilled in her only daughter, Paula.

Years later, with a successful corporate career behind her and the arrival of her only grandchild raising questions about family and legacy, Paula decided to search for Samuel Lowe’s descendants in China. With the support of her brothers and the help of encouraging strangers, Paula eventually pieced together the full story of her grandfather’s life, following his story from China to Jamaica and back, and connecting with 300 surprised relatives who were overjoyed to meet her.

Finding Samuel Lowe is a remarkable journey about one woman’s path to self-discovery. It is a story about love and devotion that transcends time and race, and a beautiful reflection of the power of family and the interconnectedness of our world.

Finding Samuel Lowe includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert and photos in the text.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062331632
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/14/2015
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,176,183
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Paula Williams Madison is Chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, a division of Williams Group Holdings LLC, a Chicago-based investment company. She spent twenty-two years with NBC Universal and was most recently the Executive Vice President of Diversity as well as a Vice President of the General Electric Company. Honored for corporate leadership and community outreach, Madison was named one of the "75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America" by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2005 and was included in Ebony magazine's "Power 100." She is Vice President of the Los Angeles Police Commission. On the occasion of the 2013 Centennial Anniversary of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Madison was inducted as a member of Honorary Centennial Six, a great career achievement. A native of Harlem, she and her husband reside in Los Angeles. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Dreams of My Grandfather 3

Part 1 Mothers and Daughters

Beijing, 2008 9

The Outside Child 13

Part 2 Where Love Begins

Kingston, Jamaica, 1918 21

Usury and Obeah 29

My Daddy Elrick 31

This Is Where Sarah Came From 35

Elrick Grows Up 39

Two Outside Children Meet 45

Lies and Marriage 53

Part 3 Growing Up Williams

Scenes From a Marriage 63

Growing Up Williams: Scene One 67

Nocturne in Nell Minor 73

Finding My Own Space 79

Umbilical Cords 83

Custody Matters 87

Growing Up Williams: Scene Two 91

Breaking My Daddy's Heart After He Broke Mine 95

Meet My Grandma Sarah 101

The Year Of My Discontent 107

Part 1 Searching For Samuel Lowe

The Year of the Dragon 117

The Hakka People 123

Chee Gah Ngin: Many Places, One People 125

The Capitalist Class and the Servant Class 131

Samuel Lowe Was My Father 137

Do You Know That You Are Black? 139

Part 5 Prosperity, Family, Education

The Point of No Return 145

Adassa Takes Charge 153

Gilbert's Journey 159

My Heart Was Somewhat Disturbed and I Found It

Very Strange 163

Lowe Shui Hap 167

Part 6 Samuel Lowe's Twentieth Century

A Journey of Ten Thousand Miles 177

Secondary Migration 183

Fire! Fire! 187

The Returning Wave 195

You Den, You Choy; Have Children. Have Wealth 199

The Ravages of War 207

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 213

And The Family Grows and Prospers 219

Part 7 My Three-Thousand-Year-Old Family Reunited at Last

Visiting Jamaica 227

Samuel's Shop 233

The December Reunion in China 235

Roosevelt Finds His Own China 239

Where My Ancestors Are Laid To Rest 247

Aunt Adassa Turns Ninety-Four 251

The Return of the JlA Pu 253

Chinese Names 257

Dreams of My Grandfather 263

Epilogue 265

Acknowledgments 269

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