Gravel and Grit recounts not only a rural boyhood in a period of racial hostility and class exclusion but also of simple country pleasures and strong family ties. Other approaches to writing about the South either romanticize or demonize the people and culture in which the author was reared. What makes this work different is that it reveals both the gravel (the course, unflattering, and shameful side of that era) and the grit (the remarkable will to survive). Stories are told with a backdrop of significant historical events such as the Great Depression, World War II, the Southern Labor Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the advent of the rock and roll revolution in music-all of which led to a transformation of values. Price promotes racial harmony as well as understanding the conflicts, contradictions, and joys of living in the South. Rich in literary quotations and cultural allusions, the reader will recall memories from his or her own life. Here, in this world of sunshine and toil, these common people, both black and white, endured, survived, and prevailed. It was also here that some white citizens made one last bloody, fatal gasp to preserve the cultural curse of Jim Crow. African Americans left a legacy of fighting for their country both overseas and at home. This is a book that can change a reader, and it is certainly a book the reader will remember.
Gravel and Grit: A White Boyhood in the Segregated South
Al Price, author