|About the Book|
The Geechee Lady, subtitled, Grandma and the Secret Castas, is an adaptation from the poem, Miss Willamina, written by the same author. Although written especially for young readers, ages 10 - 17+, this is a book which can be enjoyed by anyMoreThe Geechee Lady, subtitled, Grandma and the Secret Castas, is an adaptation from the poem, Miss Willamina, written by the same author. Although written especially for young readers, ages 10 - 17+, this is a book which can be enjoyed by any age-group. The true story, written in rhythmic pattern, tells of how a wizened older woman, born in 1885 on one of the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, relates to a much younger female in the 1950s/1960s setting of Harlem, New York. Divisive tactics, taught in previous generations to the black slaves by their white masters, somehow seep their way into the lives of these two people, causing an awkward relationship between the old woman and the young girl. It is an awkwardness which stems from the most sensitive human-dynamic of that post-slavery era-...a dynamic manifested in myriad ways in regard to skin-tones, hair-types, facial features, and other physical traits...bringing about the creation of a very subtle, yet highly sensitive caste-system among people of color. This caste-system though well-known among all inhabitants of the colonies in the Americas, ...as well as among its European progenitors, ...is rarely discussed openly, even nowadays in 2010/2011, as it is still kept hush-hush as a topic to be discussed secretively behind closed doors. Therefore, an exciting,must-see section of this book, is Part 4-Grandma and the Secret Castas, which shows copies of 16th and 17th century paintings which still hang today on the walls of the worlds greatest museums. These great revolutionary works of art, in a genre called La pintura de Casta, or Casta Paintings, depict the lives of the people who represented the original population and who were contributors to the formation of this dominant, and highly-structured Latin-American caste-system. This social system, called Mestizaje, created by the royal monarchy of Spain and Portugal, ...(out of their desire to bring some semblance of order to the new colonies in the Americas), originally existed as an accepted form of concubinage in the Portuguese and Spanish colonies of the Americas, ... then it caught on, ...though not quite as successfully, in the British-owned, 13-original USA colonies, ...and then concurrently in all the English-speaking, Caribbean territorities including Jamaica, Trinidad-Tobago, the Bahamas, Antigua, Barbados, British Honduras, and Bermuda-... in French-speaking Louisiana (USA), and the French-speaking islands of Martinique, Guadalupe, and Haiti-... in the Spanish-speaking islands of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, ...in Spanish Honduras, and on Roatan Island and Spanish-owned Belize (before it was annexed to the British Empire in the 1800s as British Honduras), ...in the German-speaking / Old-Dutch-speaking islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. ...in the Portuguese-owned colonies of the Azores, Cape Verde, and Brazil, and also on all the smaller islands, such as Nevis, St. Croix, the French, St Martin and the Dutch, Maarten, Grenada, St. John, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Monserrat, Tortola, and Dominica, etc.