I have to confess, I have always been fascinated with that period in American history known as the Harlem Renaissance. a lot of my writing is inspired by the creative genius that was spawned during that era. I was also mesmerized by the antics of Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., as a kid growing up. So, it was with eager anticipation that I cracked the pages of Adam's Belle.
This is a really fascinating book, and the author is to be commended for the style in which it is presented. It would have been all too easy to interview Isabell Powell, then rework her words for literary effect. Instead, we hear Belle's voice throughout; it changes as she ages and grows, and her joy and suffering come through clearly. Allowing her to be the narrator also adds to the interest of the little insights she gives us into the luminaries of the period. Too bad, there wasn't more, but no matter. This was Belle's story, and she was allowed to tell it in her own way. From growing up an attractive, light-skinned Black woman in Georgia, to being a hit on the stages of New York; her triumphs and tragedies are presented in unadorned prose. She tells us "what is was like."
A not-to-be-missed book for anyone who wants to see inside the history of minority life in early twentieth century America. Four stars for creativity! Five stars for relevance!
Causes Charles Ray Supports
The Nature Conservancy
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial