VFA Recommended Books


PROUD SHOES: The Story of an American Family (Black Women Writers Series)
by Pauli Murray, Patricia Bell-Scott

Spurred by the 1950s civil rights movement in the United States, Pauli Murray interrupted her lawcareer for four years to investigate and document her family's history. Meticulously researched and eloquently written, Proud Shoes provides both an engrossing story of one family and an historical overview of race relations in the United States spanning almost one hundred years. Pauli Murray grew up in the South with her grandparents, Cornelia and Robert Fitzgerald, two strong-willed individuals of vastly different backgrounds. Cornelia, the child of a beautiful house slave and the master's son who drove away her lawful husband and repeatedly raped her, was brought up in a Southern household, both heir and slave. Robert grew up in the North, the sickly child of free black Thomas and his white wife Sarah Ann, who through her marriage "enlisted in a cause which called for raw courage and no retreats." Educated and brave, Robert refused to pass for white and waited impatiently until the Union allowed blacks into the military; his determination and heroism on and off the battlefield served as a constant example and a psychological shield against the racism of young Pauli's world. As Pauli Murray traces her family's history, she shows the Civil War from two sides and describes a world of North and South, pre- and post-emancipation, filled with family stories, laws, injustice, bravery, and heroes and villains of both races. She never shrinks from truth, and her loving pride is ever-present

Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and most other bookstores!


A click on the author’s name will bring up a description/review in some cases a picture of the cover of the book.
Many will be available in your local library. If not, ask the librarian to order.
For purchase, try Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Back to Front Page Amazon Barnes & Noble