Green Doll: Mother America's Son

by Doug Power



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 10/11/2013

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 324
ISBN : 9781491820537
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 324
ISBN : 9781491820520
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 324
ISBN : 9781491820575

About the Book

Here’s how it starts: Vardaman is chased by two older boys and he jumps into the elevator shaft and reaches for the steel cable and catches it, seven stories high, but his hands are slipping. He can barely hang on. The elevator is broken because the building is in Chicago, the Cabrini-Green projects, and because the older boys run the building no one wants to venture inside to fix things. The steel fibers rip into Vardaman’s fingers and he falls, bruised but alive, one more escape. Not everything fits a label. Vardaman is smart and he does well in second grade. His mother checks his assignments when she gets back from her day shift at the nursing home, and it is there, after work one day, that she meets the wealthy and white middle-aged son of one of the patients. He introduces himself, approaches her as she’s bending over the engine of her car that won’t start and offers to help, attracted to her youth and exotic beauty. She accepts his help, attracted to his polite scent of money and perhaps a path for her and her son out from the projects. And so begins their cautious but quickened dance of daring as Alexander expands his boundaries and Linda tests the limits of her own. And watching it all is Vardaman, confused by what his mother is doing, afraid of what the brothers will think of her being with a white man, and maybe taking it out on him, and all he wants is for it to be ended. This is a novel about three persons exploring who each one of them really is – in their separate grips of age and race and money – and where their innocence might reside and their happiness might be found.

About the Author

Doug Power was Assistant Chief of Staff for Harold Washington, Chicago’s first African-American mayor, whose opponent for office had campaigned with advertisements relentlessly depicting the city underneath a looming black cloud with the warning: “Before It’s Too Late!” But the media denied this was racial. “It’s just about competent management.” That was the message too when the white-majority City Council refused to confirm appointees and took control of city contracts to keep funneling the money and the jobs to their pals. This isn’t anecdotal: Doug Power knows – he was liaison to the Aldermen and received their requests. That was Chicago in 1983, a place of neighborhoods at war with other neighborhoods. Doug Power had the opportunity to witness it close up, living in the inner-city and sparring with gangs black and white, working as a counselor with children, and community organizing with the Congress of Racial Equality. It was in Chicago where he saw Dr. King speak in the early 60’s at Olivet Church across the street and where he played baseball on the dirt and rubble fields of the Cabrini Green projects. GREEN DOLL is about the boys he played baseball with. He's had stories published in the New Orleans Review, TriQuarterly, Witness, and Other Voices, and, as a proponent for community empowerment, has made presentations about broadband and economic development at conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada. And he notes that it isn’t much different today in the halls of Congress than it was years ago in the City Council. And not much different in the inner-city, either. Only worse. Attention must be paid.