BeBe Moore Campbell Marathon

I had a Bebe Moore Campbell marathon. I started with Your Blues Aint Like Mine and was greedy for her writing style; so I moved on to What You Owe Me, Brothers and Sisters…and then finally devoured Singing in the Comeback Choir. I’m glad I reread them in that order.

Your Blues Aint Like Mine was set in the 1950s, published in 1992, and feels like it is telling the story of our current racial and political divides. A story of valuing and devaluing based on race, intersected by the struggle for betterment and understanding. A story where poor uneducated Whites fond of the N-word realize they are occupying the same social space. But the ending gives us a boost as a father fights to save his son and a brother acknowledges a relationship his father never did.

What You Owe Me, began in 1948 and continued into the next generation. Taking place in L.A., this book also brought feelings of remembrance for me depicting East Texas and also mentioning a town I know well, Crockett. And one of my names is used as a prominent character! Woo Hoo! But once again, a friendship with all the freshness and hope of a spring day crumpled along race lines with implications that rippled from one genertion to the next. We all have a conscious–sometimes we choose to push it aside. Loved the family dynamics and relationships explored in this book.

Brothers and Sisters continues to explore racial relationships, family dynamics, and love. Published in 1994, it also could apply to today in regard to the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements. Resiliency and fresh starts win the day. Thank goodness.

And the final member of the quartet, Singing in the Comeback Choir was a great resounding note. Flipping betwen L.A. and Philly, Maxine navigates the rebuilding of a bond with a husband who made a poor decision; rejuvenating her childhood neighborhood after a little TLC and pride are infused; and a late-in-life encoure for her grandmother who was a famous singer. Small changes on one block in the neighborhood, opportunities for the children, a church with open doors, musicianship, and wisdom from the elders help Maxine decide what she wants from life and how to truly forgive and move on. This book gave me so much to wish for and reminded me it’s never too late.