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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