Sugaree Rising

J. Douglas Allen-Taylor

Freedom Voices is pleased to anounce the release of Sugaree Rising.

"Sugaree Rising is a remarkable first novel, intelligent, sensitive, thoughtful, perceptive. It is the story of a small, tightly knit, interrelated group of South Carolina Blacks who established their own community after the Civil War. They bring with them the traditional beliefs of their slave ancestors, the old ways and the old gods. In the South Carolina of the 1930 their descendants still honor the traditions of their African forefathers, living their days in essentially parallel universes, the everyday and the spiritual, both real, both shifting back and forth like a kaleidoscope. It is an extraordianarily exhilarating way of perceiving the world."

— Shirley Ann Grau
Winner of the 1965 Pulitzer Prize For Fiction

Set in the South Carolina coastal area Lowcountry in the late Depression years, Sugaree Rising is the story of community resistance to a massive community relocation forced by a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)-style dam building and rural electrification project. The novel also details the struggles of a unique group of Lowcountry African-American people-commonly known as "the Gullah"-to maintain a religion and culture largely based in their ancestral African homeland.

Allen-Taylor's novel is loosely based upon the Santee Cooper Project, the 1930's era initiative that carved out two major lakes in the heart of South Carolina, brought electrification to scores of rural communities, but in the process dislocated more than 900 families, most of them African-American.

"Gradually Yally dragged the whole story out of them. Bonk Jackson had  heard it across the river that morning, and when he got back over to  Yelesaw, he had gone out with his two sons to spread the news. The whitefolks were making plans to put a dam across the Sugaree River somewhere just above Cashville. The dam would leave a deep lake in the bottomlands basin—the rivers and creeks, hundreds of homes, thousands of farmland acres, a wide collection of villages, the bulk of the Swamp, as well as the whole community of Yelesaw. It would flood out or touch its waters on practically every place she had ever been in during her entire life. The enormity of it was too much for Yally to take in."
— From Sugaree Rising

396 pages. Perfect Bound. ISBN-13: 978-0915117215

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About J. Douglas Allen-Taylor

Some Information
J. Douglas Allen-Taylor is an award-winning journalist and political columnist who has written for several San Francisco Bay Area publications, including The East Bay Express, San Jose Metro, The Berkeley Daily Planet, Color Lines, and Race, Poverty & the Environment. He is a native of Oakland, California and lived for many years in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where Sugaree Rising is based.