PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — What might a well-to-do, middle-aged Caucasian woman have in common with a pregnant, African-American teenager? According to a new book published by Crandall, Dostie and Douglass Books, Inc., and authored by Elizabeth Gordon, plenty. “Walk with Us: Triplet Boys, Their Teen Parents and Two White Women Who Tagged Along” (ISBN: 978-1-934390-30-6) is a twentieth century tale with a message of hope.
At the center of the story is 15-year old Tahija Ellison, living in the midst of poverty in a north Philadelphia neighborhood. Kathryn and her housemate, Kaki, open their home to Tahija who is soon to be the mother of triplets.
While 16-year old father, Lamarr, would like to provide for his family, choices are limited and the triplets are threatened to be taken into foster custody after their births.
So, for two years they make up a household: Tahija, Kathryn, Kaki, and the triplets, with Lamarr hovering close and ready with a supportive hand.
While few people live in mixed-race households, even fewer have housemates of a different social class. The author demonstrates what it means to nurture relationships despite race and class in the intimate shared space of a row house.
In the day-to-day world, people constantly mix with other races and classes in malls, on the street, on the subway and more. Media portrays politicians shaking hands in multicultural situations, and co-workers who share friendships across race, but what happens when they all go home together?
Gordon brings Tahija’s unpretentious, young voice directly to the reader through an appendix: “My Life as I Know It.” The appendix is Tahija’s self-authored narrative of her experiences. Each chapter opens with an excerpt from this appendix which flows into Gordon’s poetic and captivating prose.
Above all, the three triplets steal the show. Kathryn becomes their full-time caretaker while Tahija goes to school. As the group bonds, they find themselves at odds in the midst of their differing cultural and emotional experiences.
A twist at the end recounts an act of material sacrifice seldom seen in today’s society and the story ends on a hopeful note.
Reviews are glowing. On Amazon.com, Maureen Mather asserts that “this book is beautifully written, and Ms. Gordon’s honesty is so complete that it is sometimes painful to read. This is a true examination of conscience. It is also an examination of the history of race relations in the U.S. and the current state of those relations, not from an observer who visited a ghetto a few times for a story, but from someone who lived it. Make no mistake; there is also much that evokes laughter. Ms. Gordon has a marvelous sense of humor, and she is not afraid to laugh at herself. I consider this book ‘a must read’ for anyone interested in and concerned about race relations in America. And, that should be everyone, shouldn’t it?”
“Walk with Us” is 320 pages and is available in paperback for $19.95. It is also available electronically at: www.cddbooks.com and www.amazon.com and can be ordered from Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, Inc. or through local bookstores.
For more information, visit: http://www.WalkWithUs.info .