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PRINT December 2019

books

Imani Perry

I held Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House (Grove Press) tenderly in my hands even before I knew the subject matter. After I read the first section—a narrative map that leads to the yellow house, her family’s home—I wept. You might not know how rare it is to see Black living laid out on paper, but it is. When it is done, and done beautifully, you have a masterpiece. Think Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Edward P. Jones’s The Known World.

See what you have been trained not to see, and you will understand much more about life and the world. The yellow house sat in New Orleans East, which held and holds people who served the spectacular bacchanal of the French Quarter. East was and is on the unsteady ground granted to the children of the ones who were sold for so much, and earned so little, and gave so much, and yielded so much, and were Black.

Broom tells a completely new story about

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