Just Plain Folks

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Lorraine Johnson-Coleman
Summerhouse Press, 1997 - African Americans - 165 pages
1 Review
By returning to the cottonfields, tobacco barns and humble dwellings of her ancestral home in the rural South, author and cultural preservationist Lorraine Johnson-Coleman learned first-hand what is missing from the history books between the pages on slavery and present day African American culture. It is the experience of ordinary people who, on second glance, have led truly extraordinary lives. She developed an appreciation for their words, wit and wisdom and has made it her life's work to pass along their experiences.

In this collection of original short stories, Johnson-CLomen pays homage to those ordinary folks--kinfolks, homefolks, waymakers, and caretakers through lyrical tributes that are almost musical to the ear. From the front porch to the shanty to the church pews, her characters come to life, bringing with them lessons about worship, courtship, social consciousness, naming practices, and burial traditions. This jewel of a book is in keeping with the author's mission to both entertain and educate about the African American experience; she concludes each story with an author's note that places it into its proper cultural perspective.

Ultimately, "Just Plain Folks" is about folk culture as a continuum; a link back to the past to discover the essence of who African Americans are today. Maybe more importantly, it's beautiful thank-you note from one African American woman to some pretty awe-inspiring colored folks because sometimes it isn't so much about where we are or where we came from that's important, but how we got there.

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User Review  - patricia_poland - LibraryThing

Johnson is a gifted storyteller and I would bet she is a joy to see and hear in-person. It was, however, the “Afterthoughts” in this book, insightful passages into the historical culture of the African-American community, that truly made this book interesting to me. Read full review

Just Plain Folks

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This collection of short stories and essays portrays the experiences of rural African Americans--not community leaders and notables but ordinary people. Johnson-Coleman, a lecturer and workshop leader ... Read full review


Worser Days and Better Times
Gettin Ready

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About the author (1997)

Johnson-Coleman is a lecturer and workshop leader.

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