Oliver, Kitty

Oliver, Kitty - Florida Authors Voices of America: Race and Change in Hollywood, Florida (2000)
is the result of a three-month long oral history project at the dawn of the new millennium interviewing a cross-section of 42 Blacks, Whites and immigrants who were born and raised in or who migrated to this South Florida area between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Their memories span 75 years of racial and ethnic change. They tell tales of segregated beaches, buses and bathrooms; facing the culture of a new country; and of causes over the years that have brought different ethnic groups together. Recording their memories for the archives of the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, these individuals provide valuable, often poignant insight into race relations in America, in their own words - the painful and the uplifting. Says one reviewer, "A must reading for anyone who earnestly cares about the state of ethnic relations in the Sunshine State."
Oliver, Kitty - Florida Authors Multicolored Memories of a Black Southern Girl (2001)
From Publishers Weekly
"We piece together a life of meeting people, going places, collecting stories," says Oliver, a journalist and writer in residence at Florida Atlantic University, but the pieces don't quite gel in this lifeless account of one of the first African-American freshmen to integrate the University of Florida in 1965. Her experiences intrigue (her father was fired from his job at a local restaurant after she participated in a civil rights demonstration, and she adopted a biracial child), but her book is pedestrian. Part autobiography (marred by an overabundance of "I," even for this genre), part account of a generation (dulled by an arguably editorial "we") and part meandering memoir, it leaves the reader with a confusing m‚lange of personal history and impersonal generalities. Autobiographical detail is lacking e.g., her husband and children receive short shrift and authority is scant for broad observations about her generation. Stories that might pass muster at family gatherings (getting lost in a store, one's first cup of cappuccino) wilt between book covers. The memoir reads like discreet essays that simply fail to cohere, and the chronology is equally disordered. Such work is sometimes redeemed by elegance and grace, but no such luck here: the style is flavorless. (Oct.)Forecast: This is far from Anne Moody's Coming of Age and Lorene Cary's Black Ice. Women's studies groups will pick it up, and black readers who came of age in the '60s may identify, but nothing else will push sales much.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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