My Face Is Black Is True (Paperback)
Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations
Vintage, 9780307277053, 336pp.
Publication Date: October 10, 2006
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Acclaimed historian Mary Frances Berry resurrects the remarkable story of ex-slave Callie House who, seventy years before the civil-rights movement, demanded reparations for ex-slaves. A widowed Nashville washerwoman and mother of five, House (1861-1928) went on to fight for African American pensions based on those offered to Union soldiers, brilliantly targeting $68 million in taxes on seized rebel cotton and demanding it as repayment for centuries of unpaid labor. Here is the fascinating story of a forgotten civil rights crusader: a woman who emerges as a courageous pioneering activist, a forerunner of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
About the Author
Dr. Berry has received many awards for her public service and scholarly activities, among them the NAACP’s Roy Wilkins Award and Image Award, the Rosa Parks Award of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Ebony Magazine Black Achievement Award.
In addition to having been the chairperson of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission for eleven years, Dr. Berry is the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches history of American law. The author of eleven books, she lives in Washington, D.C.
Praise For My Face Is Black Is True: Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations…
“Fascinating. . . . Berry has brought this leader from obscurity and given her cause the recognition it deserves. No one can fully understand the history of the reparations movement without reading this book.” —The Washington Post Book World
“A treat for history lovers. . . .[Berry] paints a vivid picture of the reparations struggle in an era when 2 millions ex-slaves were still alive. . . . Eye-opening, well-crafted.” —The Plain Dealer
“Remarkable. . . . Berry has done a brilliant job of documenting the life of Callie House. . . . This is an incredible story and one that truly deserves to be more than mere footnote in our history texts. . . . Authentic and essential.” —Tucson Citizen