Monday, May 3, 2010

Till You Here From Me

Till You Here From Me
Pearl Cleage

35 year old Ida Dunbar worked on the Obama campaign. Months after the election, Ida is still waiting to hear about a job offer with the new adminstration. However, things aren't working out as planned. Miss Iona a long time family friend ask Ida to fly home and talk some sense into her father, Rev. Horace Dunbar. A recent interview with Rev. Dunbar saying negative things about various groups is on You Tube. Ida flies home to Georgia to see what's going on.

If you are familiar with Cleage's work, you know home is West End, a Black community, in Atlanta, GA. West End is thriving thanks to the people who live there. Ida hasn't been home in a while but she quickly falls into the rhythm of community. I loved Ida B Dunbar from the beginning. Her voice rang true to me.

Rev. Dunbar's best friend Eddie's son, Wes Harper is also home for a visit. He has been quietly working with the Republicans. Wes wants to undermine the work of his father and Rev. Dunbar for monetary gain.

Ida's father was very influential during the Civil Rights area. Decades later Black people in Georgia still love and respect Rev. Dunbar. He registered 100,000 new Georgia voters right before the 2008 election. Rev. Dunbar did not to pass on the names of the new voters to the Obama campaign after Obama put some distance between himself and Jeremiah Wright.

If someone asked me to explain Jeremiah Wright, Travis Smiley or Jesse Jackson's comments about Obama during the presidential election, I wouldn't know where to begin. Now I would tell them to read Till You Hear From Me.

"All those old guys are still mad" "Because of Jeremiah Wright?" "That's part of it," Wes said, "But I think it's just hard form them to admit that whether they were ready or not, the torch has been passed." " But that's what they were all working for, wasn't it? A chance for black folks to rise and be first class American citizens?" "Well, they did it. They won. They should be celebrating their victory." They don't know how to celebrate," Wes said. They're warriors. What they know how to do is fight, struggle, organize. Stepping aside to make room for new blood isn't a part of their makeup." (p38)

Cleage has written a very timely novel. One of the many things, I loved out Till You Here From Me, it reads like the novel its suppose to be. The author made a conscious decision to educate but never forgot before anything else this is a novel meant to entertain. Ida B. Dunbar comes before anything else. I loved Till You Hear From Me, I kept turning the pages until there was nothing left.


Jeannine said...

oh sounds intriguing. great idea for a novel. got it on my list. thanks doret.

Doret said...

Jeannine - You can't go wrong with a Pearl Cleage novel

Shell said...

Pearl Cleage is one of my favorite authors. Her books are full of heart and spirit. Till You Hear From Me is a must read for me.