A Short Walk
Afterword by La Vinia Jennings
A Short Walk is a sweeping epic novel, which captures the movement of black Americans from the rural south to the urban north.
Cora James, born to a black woman who has had a love affair with a white man, grows up poor in South Carolina, marries an abusive—albeit, wealthy—preacher, and escapes from him by going north to Harlem. There she earns money dealing cards and performing in a number of traveling vaudeville shows. She survives the Great Depression, and experiences life as a wife, mother, lover, actress, and independent businesswoman. Torn between befriending Filipino and white neighbors, and the view of the Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey movement, Cora survives divisive politics and learns that since "Life is just a short walk from the cradle to the grave . . . it sure behooves us to be kind to one another along the way."
"A stately achievement."