The Color of Love: A Mother's Choice in the Jim Crow South

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Lyon's Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 258 pages
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Nine years after the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, and only a year before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a judge in the Forsyth County Courthouse of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, wrenched twelve-year-old Gene Cheek from the security of his mother's devotion. Here is a true story of love in a time afflicted by hatred, ignorance, and racism. At its core, this is a frank account of a love affair between a white woman and a black man that took mother from son and split a family forever.
In the early 1960s, the city of Winston-Salem struggled under the strict edicts of segregation, setting the tone of division that would plague Gene Cheek's life. Raised by his alcoholic father and his earnestly loving mother, Gene learned about the power of hatred and the strength of love. Yet when his mother fell in love with Cornelius Tucker, an African-American man, and became pregnant with Tucker's child, their union was seen as morally and lawfully unfit. The court forced the parents to choose between the mixed-race infant and Gene. From a distance of more than forty years, Gene Cheek recounts a life of constant struggle with his biological father. Briefly that tension dissolved with the warm guidance of Cornelius Tucker - but that period of peace would soon end.
The Color of Love is Gene Cheek's story told in his singularly honest voice. Its sincerity and truth resonate with a plea for tolerance, and the irrevocable nature of the decisions and emotions of modern life.

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THE COLOR OF LOVE: A Mother's Choice in the Jim Crow South

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A son remembers his North Carolina childhood in the 1960s: his abusive father, his loving mother and the racist climate that empowered a judge to place the boy in foster care when his mother became ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jopearson56 - LibraryThing

This book should have been better. I heard Cheek interviewed on NPR and the interview was really interesting and was my incentive to read the book. But it turned out to be another memoir by a kid, now ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Gene Cheek is a blue-collar son of the South, born on March 2, 1951 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has lived an unremarkable life with the exception of his children, grandchildren and his own peculiar childhood. This is his first book. He lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

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