(From the publisher):
There were once dozens of Riverlisps in America - Black communities that grew up after 1900 on the edge of nearly every northern city. Today hardly one is left. Following World War II, they were "redeveloped" out of existence and their inhabitants thrown into city ghettos. Not a ruin nor a monument marks their graves. They never were on the map. If you go in search of them, you will find nothing but thruways, shopping plazas, and industrial parks. Only memories remain, and Frederick Ward has collected his into a book that is once a celebration and a requiem for all the Riverlisps he has known.
Riverlisp was not a good place to live, but good people lived there and they cared about each other. They were a community. Ward tells of them the only way possible: in their own words, through the stories they tell about each other, their songs, letters, poems and jokes. Appropriately, he calls the book "literary music - meant to be read aloud with feeling." From it, individuals emerge so deeply human that their humanity reaches out to touch and change us.
Original title: Riverlisp
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Black (african-american)