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The Living Dead – A Historical African American Autobiography

Authored by John Willis Berry Jr.
Edited by Kimberly Berry 

This edited and annotated book, originally written by my grandfather in 1968, was claimed by him as the memoirs of his life from growing up in the deep south Mississippi in the 1920s to 1940s, to his experience leaving Mississippi to pursue a new life in Detroit, and later moving his family to Ohio. He metaphorically and poetically interprets the birth and death of his spirit and how he came to know God. His beautifully written prose reflects the turmoil in his soul from his struggle with being a light-skinned black child in the south, his grappling with gender roles and the meaning of manhood, his spiritual conflict with the morality of mankind, his understanding of religion, and his inner rationalizations for his menacing and murderous tendencies.  Considered a work of African American history and held in historical collections by major universities and historical societies, offered in the 1960s to be made into a major motion picture if he would agree to call it fiction, but he refused, insisting it was truth in its entirety, much of the story is written in the style of classical literature. I am astonished by the vision and depth of his writing. Truly a moving, yet troubling, piece of literature.

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Member of MENSA, Association of Professional Genealogists, and Author’s Guild. Avid history and genealogy explorer, blogger, lecturer, and author of “All-In-One Basic to Advanced Guide to Genealogy & Ancestry History Research”. President/Director of Society for History and Research Education (S.H.A.R.E.).

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