Mildred Taylor has written several books based on family stories about life among African Americans prior to the civil rights movement. While many readers are familiar with her series about the Logan family, (e.g. The Land, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry,…), they may not know about some of her short stories.
In Mississippi Bridge, ten-year-old Jeremy Simms finds himself caught between his racist father and the Blacks he tries to befriend in this short story about life in Mississippi in the 1930’s. Jeremy cannot make sense out of the disturbing discrimination he witnesses and has great difficulty gaining the trust of the young African Americans in his town. He finds himself working together with one of them, however, when tragedy occurs.
In The Gold Cadillac, an African American family drives from Ohio to Mississippi in their new Cadillac and faces much prejudice in the 1950’s. Both of these books illustrate racism in a way that young children can understand while portraying both the good and bad in all people.
Jennifer Minicus is a mother and teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.