STEPPING ON CRACKS
STEPPING ON CRACKS. REFLECTIONS ON MY HOMELAND (With photo gallery)
After almost five decades away, Doreen, a retired senior citizen, returns to her birth country to discover whether she could spend the last days of her life in a place that had nurtured her and contributed to the woman she had become. Indeed, she had departed just two years after British Guiana had received its independence from Great Britain, lowered the Union Jack, raised the Golden Arrowhead, renamed itself Guyana, and set out to chart its path as a cooperative republic.
At first everything seems new and exciting, but soon she finds herself sliding down a path of disillusionment. The old culture resurfaces, trying to drown her in a morass, and soon her “first” world consciousness clashes with a “third” world reality. Yet she finds pleasure in exploring and recording the history of the Linden area as well as the culture embedded deep in her psyche. Eventually, she finds herself stepping on the proverbial crack that would “break her mother’s back.” After six months, she realizes that, like Thomas Wolfe, she “can’t go home again.”
This novel is a fictionalized account of the struggles of my mother’s family, the Allicocks, whose ancestor, the white Scottish owner of Plantation Noit Gedacht, had 8 children with Ann Mansfield, a colored woman. The story explores the history of Linden (McKenzie/Mackenzie) and its place in the development of Guyana, including the conflict between the Allicocks and the Demerara Bauxite Company which acquired much of their ancestral land supposedly by false pretenses.
This novel is a fictionalized account of the life of Ann Mansfield, the colored woman who had eight children with Robert Frederick Allicock, and her family. It explores her maternal ancestral roots in Africa, the family’s abduction from Africa and their horrendous journey via The Middle Passage, slavery in Guyana, as well as the budding Anti-Slavery movement.
This is a framework novel which explores the struggles of four women surviving in the male dominated society of Guyana, S. America. Returning home for her mother’s funeral, the author reminisces about the women who helped to shape her consciousness. Many lived on the banks of the Demerara River. The stories of Sara and her mother Cleo, Tina, and Sanka unfold within the context of the Guyanese culture – school days, teenage years, adult years, racial tensions, etc.
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