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In the eyes of 1950s Chicago society, Kim Washington has multiple strikes against her. She's poor. She's a girl. She's growing up in a broken home. Most significantly, she's black. Kim, however, realizes her own potential from a young age, and she's not about to let hardships and prejudice keep her from achieving her dreams.
She never gives up, even as her impoverished single mother moves Kim and her brothers from one seedy apartment to the next. She survives a miserable stint with her grandparents in rural Michigan, integrates an all-white parochial school, and lives through the drama of Martin Luther King's assassination. Through it all, Kim is buoyed by her mother's love, her faith, and her deep belief that if she keeps working, she'll succeed.
Kim's journey will take her from the racially segregated South Side of Chicago, to a one-room Michigan schoolhouse, to a college career shaped by the civil rights movement. The Chit'lin Coast is a gritty portrait of African American life during the reign of Mayor Richard J. Daley. Written in the spirit of Richard Wright's Black Boy and Rick Bragg's All Over but the Shoutin', it is a must-read for anyone interested in gaining insight into the African American experience.
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