Book Description: When Louise Blocker’s then eight-year-old grandson asked her two poignant questions—one about slavery and the other about her childhood—she initially gave him brief responses. But upon further reflection, she realized he deserved more thoughtful answers, which would involve embarking on a fact-finding mission, both into her own ancestry and into the history of slavery itself. My Swan Lake Life is the surprising, moving, and remarkable result.
From the origins of the term “race” to the American Revolution, from the era of slavery to the Civil War, and from decades of Jim Crow to the nine-year Civil Rights Movement, Blocker reveals seldom-told history about a multitude of unsung heroes and heroines—including inventors, educators, and activists—who fought in their communities, on battlefields, and in courtrooms for the liberties American citizens enjoy today.
But this book is not only a riveting history, it is also an engaging memoir—or what the author has coined a histoir. Tracing her ancestry to 80,000 B.C., using censuses, DNA analyses, and passed-down stories to round out her family’s history, Blocker takes us on her own journey as a bright but sharp-tongued child in the segregated South—one who dreamed of going to college and marrying Nat King Cole—introducing us along the way to the resilient, hardworking, and resourceful generations who made her captivating story possible.