African American Literature,  America,  Book Reviews,  FICTION

Home by Toni Morrison *** (of 5)


An African American soldier returns from fighting in Korea with his mind in tatters.  The army was integrated and ordered, but his experience was profoundly horrifying.  Back in a segregated United States, where a black man can and often is abused for the color of his skin, he wanders dark streets, loses his money, drinks to excess, and suffers from what we call today PTSD. Slowly he heads south, into the belly of the beast, to rescue his sister, abused by a doctor doing the kind of research performed too readily on minorities in the 1940s and 1950s.  In the end, the men of this book are beaten physically and spiritually.  All the women are strong.  And all the children are largely invisible.  To learn more about unethical medical research, read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but to really understand the plight of African Americans in the Jim Crow U.S., read The Warmth of Other Suns.