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The Invisible Line: Three American Families And The Secret Journey From Black To White (2011)

by Daniel J. Sharfstein(Favorite Author)
3.75 of 5 Votes: 3
1594202826 (ISBN13: 9781594202827)
Penguin Press HC, The
review 1: A meticulous and well-written exploration of the lives of three families who crossed the color line from black to white. Beginning in colonial times and continuing to the present, Daniel Sharfstein looks at history from an intimate perspective and examines the forces that led families to deny their African heritage and have their communities accept their presentation as white. Fascinating and dramatic, as well-written as a good novel, as painstakingly researched as the best scholarship.
review 2: Inspired by the increasing stories of amateur genealogists who now have access to digitized records and discover that their families' histories are carefully built fictions, Sharfstein follows three families back and forth across the American color line--the Gibsons, e
... morex-slaves from Jamestown turned backcountry Regulators, who traded their political demands for recognition as part of the plantation elite (and thus rose to Civil War and Reconstruction heights as officers, Senators and playboys, the last grandson becoming an early 20th c. anthropological ""expert"" on race at his family's Field Museum in Chicago); the Spencers, who moved into Johnson County Kentucky, where frontier neighbors glad for more hands were happy to recognize them, bizarrely, as ""Portuguese Huguenots"" until a branch of the clan ventured out into a new valley in the 1920s and sparked a slander suit with rivals; and the Walls, Oberlin-educated black professionals in Washington D.C. who, in the betrayal of Reconstruction, deliberately abandoned being pillars of black middle class society to become blue-collar marginalized whites. less
Reviews (see all)
Fascinating. This should be added to the curriculum for every High School American History class.
Well researched. There are places where the writing becomes a bit "fictiony" though.
Fascinating and well-written!
Fabulous book!!!
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