Walker's Way (PB) (2020)

Joseph Walker is born into slavery on a Tennessee cotton plantation in 1846, but his circumstances are mitigated by the fact that he lives in the bosom of a loving family, surrounded by a supportive slave community. That all changes when he is sold to Jackson Budreau, a Louisiana sugarcane farmer, at the age of nine. Joe's life becomes a living hell, marked by daily aggressions that scar his body and his soul.

The advent of the Civil War provides Joe the opportunity to escape from his masters. Hungry for justice but lacking allies or resources, he joins the Union army and literally fights his way to freedom. After the war, Joe goes in search of his family and, after some trials, he reunites with his older brother, Amos. Together, they migrate west in search of the spoils of freedom, but Walker's violent past follows him like a dragging chain.

Walker's Way follows Joe Walker's journey from slavery to freedom and self-determination. Along the way, he becomes a soldier, a settler, a cowboy, and a bounty hunter. Although a fictional account, Walker's Way reflects the real-life stories of thousands of enslaved people who were "set free" after the Civil War to pursue lives of uncertainty and deprivation. Their courage, stamina, and ingenuity have gone largely unchronicled in mainstream history books. It is important that we reclaim their stories and tell them again and again, lest we forget who they were and their vital role in shaping the American identity.

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William Greer
ISBN 10:
Tidewalker Press, LLC
Publication Date:
July 15, 2020