Tangled Branches

by William Bailey



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 2/12/2023

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 404
ISBN : 9798823000673
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 404
ISBN : 9798823000680
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 404
ISBN : 9798823000697

About the Book

Southern Race relations are a disordered and mismanaged mess snared in prejudices, suppression, and failures in communication. Tangled Branches does not fit into the popular context of the causes or effects. While slavery existed within the author's family for thirty-four years, the black and white families remained together for 150 years. Tangled Branches is a week-long discussion between the author and the African-American grandson of his mother's maid. It is the story of a middle age white man facing his own fears of allegations of racial prejudice and finding the responsibility to tell the African-American family's history. It is the true story of the black family history through the white family. Both families are traced five generations through the evolution of both technology and society, from pioneers to the 1970s. It recounts the crimes committed by both upon each other and on those around them. It reveals a generational dependence each family had upon the other. While popular dialogue claims black and white races separated at the conclusion of the American Civil War, Tangled Branches tells how one family remained together; from Tilly a freed slave using the white family's farm as an underground railroad station, through both black and white working together to supply Al Capone with whiskey, to Ina walking out after decades of abuse. It tells of the final separation of the two families when the Author's mother's maid is fired, and of their reconciliation.

About the Author

William Perry Bailey, III was the last generation to own the family farm where Tangled Branches occurred. It was purchased from the North Carolina government of King George III, before the American Revolution. It remained in the family until the final tract was sold in 2023. He received his BA from Emory and Henry College and has served on the boards of various charities. He does not claim to be a historian, but instead, the chronicler of family stories, told from generation to generation while the family worked in fields and gardens. Being the last of his generation to know the stories, he put pen to paper, to prevent Matilda and her family from being lost to time. He continues to live in Johnson City, Tennessee.