Wow! What a great book, and let me repeat that, what a great book. A few months ago, I never heard of Ann Petry but my god can this woman write.

“The Street” takes place in Harlem during 1944, while World War 2 is still going on and the analogy between life in Harlem and the war is subtle but it is impossible not to draw parallels. Lutie, the beautiful black heroine of the story asks, Boots, an admirer why he isn’t off fighting in the war and he replies, “And for what country should I be fighting for? The one with the segregated army (meaning the US) or the Germans?”

The city that Lutie and Boots’ live in is just as segregated. Harlem of 1940’s and before is where the blacks live, in poor housing, limited job opportunities, and where all the crime takes place and then there is the rest of the city where the whites live and the only blacks in the neighborhood are maids or cooks.

Mr. Petry’s book is a brutally honest representation of the troubles blacks had in moving up and out of Harlem and into places where their children could get a good education, stay safe, and live in places bigger than shacks. I strongly, strongly recommend this book. There is no holding back.41vZsWb+RiL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_



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