Book Review of Sweeter Than Juice

937 words 4 pages
Book Review of “The Sweeter The Juice” by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip
The book “The Sweeter The Juice” is part autobiography and part family narrative of Shirlee Taylor Haizlip and her extended family. Her family narrative is composed of stories about the lineage of her mother and father; these stories were a product of extensive research into historical documents and accounts of relatives passed down from generation to generations. Haizlip intertwines her family stories with historical figures and events allowing for the audience to be able to relate certain characters to the timeline of the history of the United States. As well, she provides personal accounts of her experiences while researching for her family’s past: where she traveled,
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People lived, worked and prayed together. Instead of a community united by misery and poverty, her father’s family’s society was rich if only with their spirit. And so we find this person, Shirlee Taylor Haizlip, who was born to the world in the middle of the spectrum, a world that was without color. As she says in the book: “ Surrounded by this cloak of color from infancy, reinforced by my father’s pride in his blackness and the almost heroic presence of my dark uncles, for eighteen years I saw myself as a dark tan person.” (p 153)
Notice, though, that she doesn’t call herself black because in fact color did not exist in her world until much later in her life when she was mature enough to understand why she was treated the way she was. Color didn’t exist in her life because of her family background and how it shaped her upbringing. There was pride from her father and sadness from her mother. Through this assessment we can easily see how Haizlip feels about black and white. However, it isn’t a hatred of the white community or the racism or her mother’s abandonment that comes out in this book. It is a displeasure at how far apart the two ends are, at how very different the worlds of the dark and the light are. There are people that might say that racism does not exist in this world anymore. However, after reading this book, I will not be one of them. Because


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