Truevine : two brothers, a kidnapping, and a mother's quest : a true story of the Jim Crow South
by Macy, Beth,
|Format:||Print Book |
|Availability:||Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy|
The year was 1899 and the place a sweltering tobacco farm in the Jim Crow South town of Truevine, Virginia. George and Willie Muse were two little boys born to a sharecropper family. One day a white man offered them a piece of candy, setting off events that would take them around the world and change their lives forever. Captured into the circus, the Muse brothers performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. They were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era. But the very root of their success was in the color of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures they were forced to assume: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even "Ambassadors from Mars." Back home, their mother never accepted that they were "gone" and spent 28 years trying to get them back.
Through hundreds of interviews and decades of research, Beth Macy expertly explores a central and difficult question: Where were the brothers better off? On the world stage as stars or in poverty at home? TRUEVINE is a compelling narrative rich in historical detail and rife with implications to race relations today.
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Publisher's Weekly Review: "
Muse, Willie, -- 1893-2001.
Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows -- History.
Albinos and albinism -- Biography.
Circus performers -- United States -- 20th century -- Biography.
Children of sharecroppers -- Virginia -- Biography.
Racism in popular culture -- History.
Child circus performers -- Biography.
African Americans -- Biography.
United States -- Race relations.
|Publisher|| New York :
|Other Titles|| Two brothers, a kidnapping, and a mother's quest :
Maps on lining papers.
x, 420 pages, illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 353-404) and index.