"Here am I," proclaims Daisy Mae Byrd in this powerful memoir, "a child of rural Georgia and daughter of loving parents, but one too often defeated by social and economic forces that I did not make, did not understand, and could not control, forces that warped my expectations and tragically dimmed the horizon of life's possibilities for far too many years. Along with my parent's great caring, I inherited the narrow, forlorn world that they lived in, and I carried this world with me for many years-my own great, invisible bundle of grief. But then, through the grace of God, the scales fell from my eyes, and I found within myself the power to shape my own life and become the writer and artist I am today-and to find my way into the bright world of possibilities that is the true inheritance of all God's children."
Not since Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has an African-American woman confronted so honestly and so fearlessly the dreadful cost to body, soul, and mind of growing up black in the South. A must read for anyone who seeks to understand-and overcome-that bleak experience.