The first volume in a compelling family saga, the narrative of The Awakening takes us back to the days of the Reconstruction Era and tells us about the two families that descended from Martha Kitchings Seawright Ellison. Set in South Carolina, the author offers a vivid description of the bygone days; enslavement, freedom from slavery, and the subsequent socioeconomic conditions that led the family of Martha to become sharecroppers.
In this enlightening memoir the author shares the fascinating history of both the Seawright family and the Ellison family and presents the stories of the descendants who managed to achieve excellence in various fields. The backstory of Martha’s marriage to Dave Seawright, Sr., and then her courtship and marriage with Joseph Ellison, Sr. is not known in detail, but it stands true that she is the common ancestor of both these families. The author has done a fantastic job of bringing this history together in a coherent and thoughtful way.
The book is essentially a historical account, and it is quite evident that a great amount of research went into finding out each and every fact or incident mentioned throughout the work. The language is simple and easy to follow, which I much appreciated because I was easily able to immerse myself in the family history. The first part of the book tells readers about the Seawright-Ellison families, and in the second half, readers are presented with a host of pictures, newspaper cuttings, and notes, all related to the family in some way or another way. I enjoyed the inclusion of these bits of history as it gave the story much more depth and made it all seem so much more substantive.
This book and history is simply fascinating to go through and learn about these two remarkable families that are connected by a mutual foremother. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of knowledge and history shared. Author Walter B. Curry, Jr. arranges the available data, genealogical research, and historical events in a way that they fit together like pieces of a puzzle. And when those pieces come together, the revelation is enlightening and rewarding. If you are interested in learning more about black history, the Harlem Renaissance, or wish to know about the history of South Carolina, this book is a must-read.
Pages: 269 | ASIN: 1638372829