Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule by Harriette Gillem Robinet

Gideon waved at the people standing around him in the moonlight. "You people stay here in the slimy shame of slavery. You nobodies! I be free and on my way to own land. Landowners are somebody!" He laughed. (6)

Pascal's brother Gideon comes back to the plantation after the Civil War, announcing that all the slaves have been freed and they are each guaranteed forty acres. Along the way to Georgia to claim the free land, they travel with Pascal's young friend Nelly, Mr. Freedman, and Mr. Freedman's granddaughter Gladness. But getting the free forty acres isn't as easy as it sounds, and there is still a lot of hatred toward slaves in the south. Harriette Gillem Robinet tells the little known story of Reconstruction, when former slaves were promised Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule.


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