Against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, White Gloves and Collards is the story of a privileged childhood in Edenton, North Carolina, a small southern town that cherishes its customs and history as symbolized by the Confederate Monument at the foot of Broad Street. As she copes with the untimely deaths of her parents, young Helen observes how the community is coping with a different kind of loss - an end to the Jim Crow rules of behavior they've always lived by. With love and support from a brainy older brother, an eclectic extended family (many of whom are segregationists), and a wise African-American maid, she tries to make sense of the changes taking place around her, both in her personal life and in society as a whole.
"You'd be hard pressed to find a more entertaining and enlightening coming-of-age story than this one…Narrator Peggy Richardson adroitly conveys the early life of the author, who loses both of her parents by age 16…Richardson movingly conveys Kaufmann's voice from childhood to the present, along with the voices of her close-knit family, school friends, and the blacks who make up her world. The story is at once personal (crushes, annoying relatives) and historic (the Kennedy assassination, Jim Crow laws). Richardson's delivery is appropriate for every situation." (AudioFile)
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