Daddy Was a Number Runner
This compelling novel documents the lives and hardships of an African American family living in Harlem in the 1930s. Despite the effect of living in a struggling economic climate, Francie, a remarkable young heroine, strives to maintain her integrity amidst all this and to understand Harlem's difficulties and dreams.
"The novel’s greatest achievement lies in the strong sense of black life that it conveys: the vitality and force behind the despair. It celebrates the positive values of the black experience: the tenderness and love that often underlie the abrasive surface of relationships . . . the humor that has long been an important part of the black survival kit, and the heroism of ordinary folk. . . . A most important novel."
"Daddy Was a Number Runner is not sugar-coated or show. It is truth lived in the vernacular—a Black girl's humor and empathy as she comes to understand Harlem's dreams and tragedies . . . from inside out. Louise Meriwether's voice is the Black feminist novelist's equivalent of the Blues. If you like modern classics by Naylor, Morrison, and Marshall, you will love this. . . . You will not be able to put it down or forget Francie, one of my all-time favorite characters."
"A tough, tender, bitter novel of a black girl struggling towards womanhood and survival."