Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Biography
“A compelling and important history that this nation desperately needs to hear.” (Bryan Stevenson, New York Times best-selling author of Just Mercy and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative)
Winfred Rembert grew up in a family of Georgia field laborers and joined the civil rights movement as a teenager. He was arrested after fleeing a demonstration, later survived a near-lynching at the hands of law enforcement, and spent the next seven years on chain gangs.
During that time he met the undaunted Patsy, who would become his wife. Years later, at the age of 51 and with Patsy’s encouragement, he started drawing and painting scenes from his youth using leather tooling skills he learned in prison.
Chasing Me to My Grave presents Rembert’s breathtaking body of work alongside his story, as told to Tufts Philosopher Erin I. Kelly. Rembert calls forth vibrant scenes of Black life on Cuthbert, Georgia’s Hamilton Avenue, where he first glimpsed the possibility of a life outside the cotton field. As he pays tribute, exuberant and heartfelt, to Cuthbert’s Black community and the people, including his wife, Patsy, who helped him to find the courage to revisit a traumatic past, Rembert brings to life the promise and the danger of civil rights protest, the brutalities of incarceration, his search for his mother’s love, and the epic bond he found with Patsy.
Vivid, confrontational, revelatory, and complex, Chasing Me to My Grave is a searing memoir in prose and paintings that celebrates Black life and summons listeners to confront painful and urgent realities at the heart of American history and society.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 47 minutes|
|Author||Winfred Rembert, Erin I. Kelly, Bryan Stevenson - foreword|
|Narrator||Dion Graham, Karen Chilton|
|Audible.ca Release Date||September 07 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #12,979 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#8 in Black & African American Art
#8 in U.S. Black & African American Art History (Books)
#24 in Black & African American History (Books)
Top reviews from other countries
In a way, Rembert’s stories remind us of how the tales of the Jim Crow era have stood the test of time. We remember the past as a way of appreciating what we have now. If you grew up with the rules that only apply to people with your skin color, you have a different outlook than others. His art is his memory, from courthouses to jails to pool halls. He manages to have nostalgia for a period that he would never what to repeat.
The book is primarily a memoir about his experiences with racism and Jim Crow, but many pages contain pictures of his artwork; therefore, it is a rapid read but not easy. For example, describing a near-lynching in matter-of-fact detail is a feat. Like most stories about civil rights, it shocks me how recently all this was still going down. It makes me feel bad for stressing about little things in my life. At least I am not working five jobs for the right to live.
From an art perspective, it amazes me that Rembert used leather as his primary medium, with damp leather combined with paper and tracing. When I studied Art History as an elective in college, I remember not to judge art as better or worse based on available materials. You have to remind yourself about this way of thinking often.
To say that it is never too late to become whom you want to be is incredibly cliché; nonetheless, Rembert lives as an enslaved person, laborer, and criminal before he discovers his true talent as an artist. Nevertheless, his experiences made him who he is. Like the antiheroes we have come to love in various series, he had a heck of a life leading to one unique story. His art lets him pass on parts of his life that would have disappeared.