The Sacred Place

"When these white bastard raped and killed my daughter years ago, I shoulda  stood up then, but I was too scared. I let my boy go over there all by hisself, and they showed him what do they do to a Nigga who stand alone. I ain't neva forgave myself for that. But when they brought Clement here yesterday, lookin' like somebody had done run over his face, I promised Jerry that I'd do somethin' different. All this Black life we jes keep givin' up like it don't mean nothin' to us"----- he paused to see if others felt his statement---- "gotta stop, y'all. Don't y'all see what they doin'? They kill de strong and leave the sacred! The only way to change things is the scared to get strong. Then, the only way to destroy us is to kill every one o'us, and if they do that, shame on us! ( Black 259)"
The Sacred Place
Chapter 17

Emmett Till

In the summer of 1955, Clement is fourteen year old native of Chicago visiting family in Money, Mississippi. His mother is initially reluctant to allow him to spend his summer in the Deep South. Clement does not understand the social customs of the American South and his lack of awareness contributes to his untimely death. Clements's death serves as a catalyst for social and political justice.  This story is a fictionalized account of the Emmett Till murder.

I am currently finishing this novel. I have not been able to put the book down. As I turn each page a hybrid of emotions emerge. I am happy, sad, angry, etc. The writing is enchanting. Dr. Daniel Black uses African American Southern Vernacular to illustrate the complexity of African American life in the Deep South. Just purchase the book you will not be disappointed.

Who is Dr. Daniel Black? An associate professor of African American Studies at his alma mater Clark Atlanta University. He has written other novels such as Perfect Piece, They Tell Me of a Home, and Twelve Gates to the City.


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