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Unafraid of the Dark: A Memoir
by Rosemary Bray

Published: 1999-03-16
Paperback : 304 pages
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In her deeply affecting, vividly written memoir, Rosemary L. Bray describes with remarkable frankness growing up poor in Chicago in the 1960s, and her childhood shaped by welfare, the Roman Catholic Church, and the civil rights movement.

Bray writes poignantly of her lasting dread of the ...
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Introduction

In her deeply affecting, vividly written memoir, Rosemary L. Bray describes with remarkable frankness growing up poor in Chicago in the 1960s, and her childhood shaped by welfare, the Roman Catholic Church, and the civil rights movement.

Bray writes poignantly of her lasting dread of the cold and the dark that characterized her years of poverty; of her mother's extraordinary strength and resourcefulness; and of the system that miraculously enabled her mother to scrape together enough to keep the children fed and clothed. Bray's parents, held together by their ambitions for their children and painfully divided by their poverty, punctuate young Rosemary's nights with their violent fights and define her days with their struggles.

This powerful, ultimately inspiring book is a moving testimony of the history Bray overcame, and the racial obstacles she continues to see in her children's way.

In elegant, passionate prose, Rosemary L. Bray uses her personal history to persuasively defend America's much-maligned welfare system. A smart black girl from the Chicago slums didn't have much chance of going to Yale or becoming an editor at the New York Times Book Review before Aid to Families with Dependent Children helped Rosemary's selfless mother make ends meet and keep Rosemary in school. Bray's account of her progress is both inspiring and despairing, as she criticizes the welfare "reforms" that closed to others doors that were opened for her.

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