This afternoon I have finished reading Red River by Lalita Tademy. I have been really looking forward to this after reading Cane River by the same author, a few years ago. Red River is the second narrative of Lalita’s father’s family, the Tademy’s.
I was not disappointed.
The book starts with the story of the Colfax massacre. In the 1870’s, after Louisiana had granted voting rights to former slaves, the black men of Colfax risk their lives to vote. They elect a new sheriff but when the incumbent refuses to step down, a group of black militiamen blockade the courthouse. Expecting the federal government to uphold the election results, the militants wait for reinforcements, but weeks pass and no relief eventuates. The siege is finally broken when the white attackers set fire to the courthouse. A massacre results in which many unarmed blacks are killed. This event shapes lives right through until the end of the book in the 1930’s.
This is an incredible book. Powerful.
What are you reading right now?