This book treats the problems, issues and emotional attitudes that arise when a black family moves into an all-white neighborhood. The author has a talent for realistic, dramatic situations and an unerring eye for the detection of social evil.
The story revolves around two families―the Burtons, a black household, and their neighbors, the Armstrongs. Mrs. Armstrong suffers from many conventional prejudices and from fears for the value of her house and land. She is restrained from moving only by her husband and daughter, who see beyond her limiting views.
This is a powerful story of a black man’s struggle to raise his son in a period of overt discrimination and segregation in America. Diversified characters portray the reality of the period, as the author skillfully weaves one into their lives with humor, pathos and drama. Jess Barker, a hard working laborer. lives with his son, Johnny in the milieu of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1930’s and 40’s era of the great depression. Joblessness, hunger and depravation are prevalent. Jess, defies barriers as he strives to make a living and provide a quality education for his son. Although poverty is a constant obstacle, living is rich and colorful in an integrated setting. Neighbors are supportive and coexist.
This is a poignant story of love passion and ambition as a beautiful young woman, Africa Jones, strives to escape poverty by working and attending college to become a professional nurse. Her greatest fear is having to depend on a welfare check. Her widowed mother needs Africa’s salary and a nurse’s aide to help support her family of fie. Unexpectedly, Africa meets and falls in love with a handsome young physician, Kevin Hildenbrandt. Africa quickly learns the pain of family rejection. The ups and downs of this tumultuous love affair weave a story of trust and doubt, passion and disillusionment in a setting of both poverty and affluence.