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Using Harlem's cultural institutions and memorable characters as her backdrop, Mulligan writes joyously about weathering adolescence while history unfolds around her. This feel-good story resonates with humor and warmth as she chronicles her life among evangelists, curly-haired doo wop boys, snuff-dippers, Fidel Castro's entourage, interracial marriage, chitlin' parties and testy interactions between West Indians and blacks. Meet Mr. Big B, the neighborhood numbers banker; join her at the Apollo for Thursday matinees and visit Smalls Paradise and the Hot Cha, when she and her father go bar-hopping on Sunday mornings. She befriends baseball's Willie Mays in the shoeshine parlor, paints posters for the 1957 March on Washington, and tries, but fails to ingratiate herself into junior black society. This book is a living document of mid-20th century Harlem with appeal for all America.
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About the Author
Terry Baker Mulligan, winner of the 2012 Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural Adult Non-Fiction, grew up in Harlem and attended both public and private schools in New York City. She received her Masters of Arts at the City College of New York, and has studied fiction and non-fiction writing at Washington University's Summer Writers Institute and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. In 2000, her article "Sugar Hill" appeared in Labor History. In 1998, Terry won first-person runner-up, non-fiction, at the Heartland Writers Conference. She is a member of the Harlem Arts Alliance. Currently a resident of St. Louis, she is member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and secretary of the St. Louis Publishers Association. She teaches writing at St. Louis Community College, and also volunteers with several non-profit organizations that seek to improve education for inner-city children.