Homelands and Waterways: The American Journey of the Bond Family, 1846-1926

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Pantheon Books, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 694 pages
Homelands and Waterways is a monumental history that traces the rise of a resolute African American family (the author's own) from privation to the middle class. In so doing, it explodes the stereotypes that have shaped and distorted our thinking about African Americans--both as slaves and in freedom. Adele Logan Alexander's account is the result of extensive interviews and exhaustive research in government, church, and academic archives, as well as in private papers and photographic collections.
The story follows three generations of the Bond family from Victorian England to antebellum Virginia plantations, from Herman Melville's New Bedford and suburban Boston to the Jim Crow South and the nation's capital, from black college campuses to Harvard University, from naval skirmishes during the Civil and Spanish-American Wars to the Argonne Forest's World War I battlefields to scenes of the country's urban race riots. In addition to family members, notable figures such as Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Nicola Sacco, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti traverse these pages as well. Alexander guides the reader through eighty crucial years in American history, as the Bonds both willfully and unwittingly interacted with major political, technological, and cultural issues of their time, while established beliefs about race, class, and gender both limited and inspirited their lives.
This compelling narrative and analysis of the Bonds' journeys through disparate adversities to an uneasy realization of the American dream is an achievement of both rich personal specificity and epic historical scope.

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User Review  - sharonk21 - LibraryThing

I like family history. I bought this book because of that but it is so much more. The family had modest beginnings in the United States; the first immigrant to the US was a seaman from Liverpool. He ... Read full review

Homelands and waterways: the American journey of the Bond family, 1846-1926

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This is African American family history with a twist. It begins in Liverpool, England, in the 1840s with free African progenitor James Bond and Irishwoman Eliza Kelly. Their son John Robert Bond ... Read full review


Groundwork and Waterscapes
An AbleBodied Seaman No More
Fire Ashes and the Hobbled Phoenix

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About the author (1999)

Adele Logan Alexander is a professor of history at George Washington University. She has contributed to many journals and essay collections and is the author of Ambiguous Lives: Free Women of Color in Rural Georgia, 1789-1879. Raised in New York City and educated at Radcliffe College and Howard University, she dotes on her children and grandchildren and lives in Washington, D. C., with her husband, former Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander.

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