Pulitzer prize winning author Fox Butterfield creates a special bond with his audience in his book "All God's Children: The Bosket Family Book." In "All God's Children" Butterfield invites his readers into the world of the Bosket family from the times of slavery to the modern day. The Bosket family represents the history of violence perpetrated on the Slaves and the outcomes of that violence. "All God's Children" is a chilling and poignant rendition of how oppression can cause long-term damage.
The Odds Are Stacked Against Willie
"All God's Children: The Bosket Family Book" begins with the story of Willie Bosket and his family's history with violence, both against his family and the violence his family perpetrated against others. Willie grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in New York and at an early age showed signs of being a healthy and charismatic young boy, yet history was against him, as his father had killed two people and his own mother had little hope for him as a result.
Slavery Was Part Of Willie's Family History
Willie's great-great-grandfather was a slave and lived a harsh life in which he was bought and sold against his will. At one stage, Willie's great-great-grandfather had a wife and children, yet that was not even enough to keep him from being sold and having to leave his family behind. Life as a slave turned good men into suppressed men, and violence was one way to have an outlet for all the frustrations.
Freedom At A Price
Willie's great-great-grandfather's children were forced into slavery too. It was a path chosen for them, not a path that they might choose. When slavery was abolished, Willie's great-great-grandfather's children were finally freed, yet government promises of land and a mule were soon lost to the wind, and they were left to join one of the many sharecropper schemes that soon took the place of slavery.
Violence Sprung From Oppression
It seems that the violent life of slavery had taken its toll on Willie's family, for once freed from slavery, the years of oppression began to show in the form of violence. Willie's great-grandfather watched as a close friend was hanged; he just stood and watched and did nothing -- this led to misdirected feelings of guilt that he began to take out on his wife. Willie's father grew up in an environment of misdirected feelings and disappointments and soon fell into a life of crime. Willie must fight for his own life to change the path that he has inherited, yet not the path he has chosen for himself.
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