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Negroland: A Memoir
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography A"NEW YORK TIMES"BESTSELLER"New York Times: 100 Notable Books of 2015""New York Times: Dwight Garner s Best Books of 2015""Washington Post: 10 Best Books of 2015""Los Angeles Times: 31 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015""Marie Claire: Best Books of 2015""Vanity Fair: Best Book Gifts of 2015TIME Best Books of 2015" At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of the author s rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself against both. Born in upper-crust black Chicago her father was for years head of pediatrics at Provident, at the time the nation s oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among (call them what you will) the colored aristocracy, the colored elite, the blue-vein society. Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart, these inhabitants of Negroland, a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty. Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of postracial America Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions. Aware as it is of heart-wrenching despair and depression, this book is a triumphant paean to the grace of perseverance. (With 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.)"
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review
Emilymdxn
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

I liked this, it showed me an angle on African American experiences in the twentieth century that I hadn‘t thought about before, the higher class genteel ‘society‘. The writing was a little patchy but at its best it was engaging, thoughtful, reflective, and I definitely learned a lot from reading it.

youneverarrived Agree! 4d
67 likes1 stack add1 comment
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effani
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Mehso-so

Another strange one. I got the sense that a memoir wasn't the type of book the author really wanted to write - it is full of long digressions into history and sociology, and often when talking about herself she affects a self-conscious distance that I found understandable but unappealing.

The audiobook format didn't help, through no fault of the narrator's. I got lost in quotations and digressions and found it hard to follow.

effani To expand on my comment about the format, I generally stick to nonfiction for audiobooks because I personally find storylines hard to follow in audio format. This book hit those same roadblocks for me and proved that it's not quite as straightforward as fiction vs. nonfiction. In any case, it's definitely a me problem. 1mo
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SW-T
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Bailedbailed

A very dry and impersonal collection of miscellaneous snippets of history. Not a traditional memoir, as there‘s barely any personal information included. Essays about black history-yes; memoir-no. Disappointing read. Gave up. Moving on.

effani I'm currently reading this, and it's a strange one for sure! Not sure how I'm going to end up feeling about it, but I totally understand bailing on it. 1mo
SW-T @effani Good luck with it! 1mo
19 likes2 comments
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sidherinn
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Plaidsticks
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Panpan

Had to drag myself to finish this.

Samplergal I‘ve put it down to finish at a later date. Too stilted? So it may be better later. 10mo
Plaidsticks @Samplergal I think that might be the problem? And it wasn‘t very...personal? Emotion?—the writing felt very detached. It had all things I would normally like, just had to drag myself through it. 9mo
1 like2 comments
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youneverarrived
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Some photos from my walks this week 💚 #litsywalkers

RachelO I‘m going to have to ask! Do you know why Whip-Ma Whop-Ma Gate is called that? (I mean, why wouldn‘t you, but...) 10mo
jhod I walk past that road whenever I go to our York office :-) Love the name and I want to know too!! 10mo
youneverarrived @RachelO lol I actually have no idea. I just know it‘s the shortest street in York with the longest name 😆 10mo
youneverarrived @jhod it‘s definitely an unusual name 😂 where is your office? My other half used to work in an office near there.. on St. Saviourgate. 10mo
63 likes4 comments
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Verity
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

An incredibly well written look at what it was like to grow up in a well off black household in the middle of the twentieth century and the particular challenges that that posed. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did, i like it a lot

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karenna
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

Jefferson recounts her experiences growing up as an affluent African-American in the 1950/1960s in a fragmented, non-linear form.

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Verity
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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This morning‘s train reading - Margo Jefferson‘s memoir Negroland.

BellaBookNook This had been on my TBR forever. Let me know what you think. 1y
Verity @BellaBookNook it‘s been on mine for ages too. Will do 1y
30 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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trueisa4letterword
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Bailedbailed

I tried but I just can't. This was on my TBR on Goodreads almost since the start of my account. I like memoirs, especially about society. BUT...I don't know what this is but it's barely a memoir. Disjointed, disorienting, and way too hesitant. The author explained her reasoning for her writing style, but I couldn't accept it. Checking out another book for #N on #LitsyAtoZ.

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trueisa4letterword
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Following up Never Caught with a book on my #LitsyAtoZ. Author babbled a bit in the beginning but I enjoy the dark humor there.

#nonfiction #memoir #N

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diovival
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

I sipped on this book very slowly over a period of weeks. My reading experience could best be described as a collection of pauses, an invasion of thoughts. Every page seemed to invite the world in. I'm not sure if someone who regularly reads memoirs will like this one. Jefferson jumps from one thing to another at will. I imagine some readers may find her writing style frustratingly disjointed. I didn't mind so much. Every page a journey inward.

Bklover What a beautiful review! 2y
diovival @Bklover thank you 😊 2y
saresmoore Gorgeous review! I don‘t much like memoirs, typically, but this one sounds like it‘s special. 2y
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MicheleinPhilly I‘ll echo @Bklover! Just lovely. 2y
diovival @saresmoore I'm going to be thinking about this one for a long while. I'm still having internal monologues with myself, lol. 2y
diovival @MicheleinPhilly thank you ☺️ 2y
emilyhaldi 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
batsy Yes, lovely review! I love "collection of pauses, invasion of thoughts". The best kind of reading experience. I'm not a memoir reader either but I'm adding this to the pile because it sounds great. 2y
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diovival
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson

"My mother had stocked our library with classics. I read Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in childhood, moved listlessly on to Kidnapped and Treasure Island, then left them, unfinished, to the older sister who proclaimed herself the hero of every adventure and doubled as the smarter villains too. I was a jealous little she-reader; I resented pouring myself into the lives of hero-boys."

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Bertha_Mason
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Listening to this to liven my very long commute to and from culinary school (1.5 hours each way). Robin Miles' performance is great. Especially, she does the sardonic asides so perfectly.

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diovival
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson

"These memories are as much about being humiliated by adult knowledge as about race prejudice....I hated being caught unawares. It was so dangerous, so shameful not to know what I needed to know....There are so many ways to be ambushed by insult and humiliation."

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diovival
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Reading this book has become a collection of pauses. I read. I pause. I read. I pause. I read. I pause. After pauses, I reflect. I have internal conversations with myself. At times I draw connections between what I'm reading and my own life experiences. It all feels so personal.

cariashley I was considering listening to this audiobook next and you just sold me on it. 👍 2y
diovival @cariashley Awesome! Let me know how it works on audio. 2y
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diovival
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson

This is a tough book to read alone.

Lindy Why? Do you want to keep sharing passages with someone? We are here! (edited) 2y
diovival @Lindy Yes!!! But this would be sharing something from damn near every page. I keep wanting to turn to someone and say, "Is this hitting you like it's hitting me? Have you talked to your parents about this? Have your parents talked to you about this? Can you relate? Does any of this feel familiar? Does any of this feel alien?" Gah! 2y
batsy There needs to be a Tinder for readers where we match with people who have the same questions from books we've read and we meet to talk about it at length. 2y
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Lindy @diovival If you aren‘t in a book club, maybe you could start one, with Negroland as your first pick. 🤓 2y
Lindy @batsy Good idea. 👍 2y
diovival @batsy Haha, that would be great 2y
diovival @Lindy I may be able to rope my one friend into reading this 😆 2y
27 likes7 comments
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diovival
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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It would be really interesting to read this book with my parents. Both were born in the 1950s.

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diovival
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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"I could take adult indulgence too far when my need to shine blurred my sense of the occasion. At a dinner party not long after, where the adults were more interested in each other than in children, I waited for a break in their talk, then announced, 'Sometimes I forget to wipe myself'" ?

Tamra Bah! 😂 2y
Eggs 🤗🤣😊😂 2y
Eggs Loving that suit though 2y
37 likes1 stack add3 comments
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WanderingBookaneer
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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BookishMarginalia
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

This memoir slash sociological study of upper class 20th century African American culture explores racism from the perspective of a privileged black woman growing up in Chicago. Jefferson‘s writing is uneven and sometimes choppy, but the insights (about colorism, privilege, classicism) and the anecdotes about her childhood and college years are well worth the read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

PerksOfBeingABookworm You had me at "memoir slash sociological study" ? 2y
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BookishMarginalia
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Promising beginning #FirstLines

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DyAnne
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Jefferson's account of Marian Anderson's performance at the Lincoln Memorial gave me chills.

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DyAnne
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Just in case you thought for even one moment that race in America is simple . . .

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Suelizbeth
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

This book is a mere 240 pages, but it is not a quick read. Take time to savor the pages. It is deserving of, demanding of your deep, thought-filled reading. It is so much more than a memoir and so much more than the story of a person of color. I also recommend Citizen and Tears We Cannot Stop.

Cinfhen Great review❤️ 3y
Megabooks This was one of my favorites from last year! 3y
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Suelizbeth
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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"How were those of us being naturalized into white culture to be protected without the shield of cultural segregation? How was active intellectual pride to be instilled?" #springcleaningreadathon #litsyreadingchallenge #litsybingo

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Suelizbeth
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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"White people wanted to be white just as much as we did. They worked just as hard at it. They failed just as often. They failed more often. But they could pass, so no one objected." #springcleaningreadathon #litsybingo

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Suelizbeth
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Switching it up and going non-fiction. #readathon #springcleaningreadathon #litsybingo

Megabooks Really good book!! 3y
40 likes1 comment
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Nute
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Reading. Time well spent!
Not sure where to start. I'm not really labeling these as immediately intended reads. I just thought they looked pretty together.
Got love for a fellow book aficionado?😍

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magictoyshop
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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#bookmail bitchesssss 😍 i've been waiting for these babies to show up for 3 weeks now! nothing beats a slow afternoon at the office like getting a #bookparcel with your name on it! #nonfiction

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zembla
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Children always find ways to subvert while they're busy complying.

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TamaraH71
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Started this. Not really feeling it. Maybe Ill bail. Dunno #blackhistorymonth #readharder

Notafraidofwords I bailed on this one but wish I would have pushed myself harder. 3y
mickeysirena I did complete this and I didn't love it. I found some of the history she talks about fascinating, but the parts of the book that are about her and her life didn't interest me as much. There's a level of emotional distance between her and the reader that made it hard for me to feel invested in her story. It's such a fascinating subject but the book was kind of boring. 3y
TamaraH71 Both of your comments don't inspire me to continue. This would have been a much better book if she discussed color and classism within the black community. Her "memoirs" trip over themselves here. I feel @Notafraidofwords, a bit guilty for not liking this because of all the rave reviews. I'm moving on to my next Black History month book, Stamped from the Beginning. (edited) 3y
Notafraidofwords @TamaraH71 awesome. Don't feel bad for bailing! 3y
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Weaponxgirl
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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#readjanuary honestly I only read one book I really wasn't keen on this month. #bestofjanuary lots of great books this month but here's some faves

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Well-ReadNeck
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

#24in48 #readathon

Book #10! Interesting account of the life of an upper class African-American woman. A quick listen with a good narration on audiobook. My only caveat for recommending is that there are some shifting POVs (from first person to third, which is odd in a memoir). Also, in some places, reads like laundry lists. Overall, interesting, informative and engaging.

Sweettartlaura Wow - 10 books!!!❤️ 3y
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Kathrin
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Mehso-so

This memoir gives a rare glimpse in the upbringing in an upper middle class African-American family. It gives interesting insights of the tension between privilege and pressure and having to represent a whole race.

I only give it a so-so rating, because I didn't like the writing style. It felt like a list of bullet points. I think the style was compounded by the audio narration.

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Well-ReadNeck
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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#24in48 #readathon

Started today's reading with a walk and this audiobook. Settling in for a couple of hours of physical books. Getting there!! ⏱📚

Megabooks This book is so good! One of the best memoirs of last year! 3y
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Lizbeth
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Weaponxgirl
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

This was a good way to start the year and fits #litsyreadingchallenge #memoirbypoc . I found this so interesting as I've not read another writer who talks about class, race and gender in quite the same way before. She's quite aware of some of the privilege she has but is also illuminating in explaining how it has had it own burdens on her. I just can't think what else to say other than pick it up for a unique voice on these topics #ownvoices

Aquedita Added to my BookDepository wishlist ;) Heard nothing but fabulous things about this one. 3y
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mischa
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Pickpick

Part memoir, part social commentary, this is an excellent look at race and class from the perspective of someone who grew up in the pre-civil rights era, and who struggled (still struggles?) with what was/is deemed "acceptable" behaviour of middle-class African-Americans in a predominantly White world.

It took me a while to adjust to her style of writing, but once I did I demolished most of this in one sitting.

Weaponxgirl I have just started this book today. Can't wait 3y
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NikkiCureton
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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"Race, gender, and class are basic elements of one's living. Basic as utensils and clothing; always in use; always needing repairs and updates. Basic as body and breath, justice and reason, passion and imagination. So the question isn't 'Which matters most?,' it's 'How does each matter?'"
Excellent, thought provoking memoir

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princess_dennie_pants
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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getting books for Xmas didn't stop me buying more today though
#ihaveaproblem #hellomynameis #andimabookoholic

Suzze Love the picture! And, it's always the right time to buy books! 📚📚📚 3y
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jessicabrazeal
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Ms.Jefferson is SUPER smart. Important one here.

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DoodlesDistractions
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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When your job asks you to read a book that has been buried in your #TBR list for work! #win

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Erinkburba
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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heikemarie
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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My sister and I are like the same reading person, so it's so easy to Christmas shop for her!

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Shay
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Bailedbailed

This one was due back at the library today, and I only got about 50% of the way through. Some of the reminiscences in this memoir were interesting, but the narration felt really disjointed, which made it easy to put the book down and not pick it back up.

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Jessicav
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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That I haven't read WSABF yet is just embarrassing. Rectifying that today. And Negroland has been on my radar for a while so when I saw it I grabbed a copy. #minibookhaul

Megabooks Negroland was amazing, and WSABF is incredible of course. Enjoy! 3y
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theshrinkette
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Someone else on here mentioned this cover recently, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's more like a nearly #headlesscover, which somehow makes it worse. #photoadaynov16

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BooksForYears
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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#TBRTuesday - My next #NonFictionNovember read is actually a listen. I'm so grateful for audiobooks because they let me squeeze a few more reads in a month, and keep me sane at my cubicle-jockey job!

Reviewsbylola I have had my eye on this one! 3y
SaintUrsula I listened to this one. It's written in a very choppy style, which is maybe more jarring in audio. 3y
142 likes15 stack adds2 comments
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NikkiCureton
Negroland: A Memoir | Margo Jefferson
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Starting this today, interested in Jefferson's take on race, class, etc