by Alexander V. Carson
Prodigal Son: One Family’s Struggle presents the saga of four generations of one black family. Emerging from World War I in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, they were part of a huge migration northward, to Chicago, in the depths of the Great Depression. Their hardships and struggles with extreme poverty, drugs, domestic violence, war, and slow but inexorable societal changes are fully and dramatically chronicled. Generation succeeded generation, but the struggle went on. Not until the fifth generation did they ultimately overcome and finally reach comfort, status, and respect, in the America of 1993.
The pages of Prodigal Son teem with unforgettable characters: the strong black women who do “whatever is necessary” to maintain their families; the all-too-often-weak black men who are unable to find good jobs and who dissolve in drugs, alcohol, and unfocused violence; the emotionally tattered white farmer who offers the family survival in a strange kind of religious semicommunist farm cooperative; and above all the children, growing up and taking their places in a world of privation, violence – and hope.
(2006, paperback, 142 pages)