Standing at the Scratch Line – Guy Johnson

I didn’t know Guy Johnson was Maya Angelou’s son.  Until after I read this book.  It was so amazing, I researched the author to find out more about him.  And bam! that explained a lot.

Set in New Orleans in the early 1900’s, LeRoi “King” Tremain is born into an ongoing family feud with the DuMonts.  And as a teenager, King mistakenly kills 2 White deputies during a botched raid on the family forcing King to flee for his safety to Louisiana.

His ensuing adventure develops him into the man he becomes.  From France, fighting in WWI where he experiences the rapid bigotry pitting him against the Germans AND his fellow White soldiers back to America where he battles the mob in Harlem, the KKK in Louisiana and crooked politicians attempting to destroy a Black town in Oklahoma.

All this while desiring to create a family life like the one he fled back in New Orleans.

Excellent character development as King just wants respect from a world that is designed to belittle his every existence as a Black male.  You’ll feel his pain and triumph as humanly possible and root from him to succeed.

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