May 6, 2009 Author to Discuss Three Generations of Interracial Family as Documented in Book
“The House at the End of the Road” Examines Racial and Cultural Identity
Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Through more than 20 years of marriage, James and Edna Richardson formed a strong family and built a house at the end of a winding, sandy road in south Alabama, where their safety from the hostile world around them was assured—and where they developed a unique racial and cultural identity.
W. Ralph Eubanks will discuss and sign his new work, “The House at the End of the Road,” in a Books and Beyond program on Tuesday, May 19, at noon in Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The event, sponsored by the Center for the Book, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
Eubanks, a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow, will discuss his personal story that began with his grandparents, the Richardsons—James, a white man from a middle-class family who defiantly married Edna Howell, a light-skinned black woman in 1914 in Alabama. Part personal journey, part cultural biography, “The House at the End of the Road: A Story of Race, Identity and Memory” examines a little-known piece of this country’s past: interracial families that survived and prevailed despite Jim Crow laws, including those prohibiting mixed-race marriage.
As he did in his acclaimed 2003 memoir, “Ever Is a Long Time,” Eubanks uses interviews, oral history and archival research to tell a story about race in American life that few readers have experienced. Using the Richardson family as a microcosm of American views on race and identity, “The House at the End of the Road” examines why ideas about racial identity rooted in the 18th century persist today.
Eubanks is a longtime employee of the Library of Congress and is head of its Publishing Office. His book, “Ever Is a Long Time,” was named one of the best nonfiction books of 2003 by Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley.
The Center for the Book was created in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its programs, publications and national reading-promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook/.
The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website, www.loc.gov, and via interactive exhibitions on myLOC.gov.