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Aila's Journal: A Tale of Southern Reconstruction

Clemmons, Charles M


Relive the story of two thirteen-year-old girl laborers who meet on a farm near Wilmington, North Carolina. Aila MacKenzie is a White indentured servant, and Mary Jane Sanders is a Black slave. As the story unfolds, both suffer hardship and abuse that will spawn empathy and friendship. The story depicts the struggle of White and Black families in rural North Carolina during and following the Civil War, 1863-1919. For the Black families, it is an era of continuing repression, bigotry, and violence.

Aila's Journal doesn't sugar-coat the past. The story, which can at times be brutal in its telling, follows the lifelong friendship of two North Carolina women from the 1860s to the 1920s. When they first meet, neither one is free. Just fourteen years old when the 13th Amendment is added to the Constitution, they rejoice in their newfound freedom. But the friends soon learn that becoming free and staying free are two very different things. Liz Fuller, PhD.

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