Published: 28/02/2016
ISBN: 9781784624668
eISBN: 9781785894282
Format: Paperback/eBook

'I commend the work of women like Jacqueline Williams who want to extract the truth from history and tell the real story of black women who had the strength and talent to become stars of film despite all the layers of prejudice. They have important lessons to teach us all.'Rt Hon Clare Short MP more

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Within Our Gates
by J. A. Williams

‘Augusta could not find the words to express her frustration with the banality and pettiness of this Gilded Age. This so called progressive age of invention, where her freedom to travel was curtailed and she and her like were chaperoned intensely from dawn to dusk according to a quixotic code of honour.’

The story is indebted to Jane Austen’s Persuasion and explores love and loss in a small black community in Brooklyn, New York during the 1900s.

At age nineteen, Augusta Mae Johnson fell deeply in love with a handsome young jazz pianist Paul Wentworth. However, the Southern gentleman had neither fortune nor connections to recommend him, and Augusta was persuaded to break off their engagement by her aunt.

What happens when they meet again eight years later when Mr Wentworth returns from Paris, a rich and celebrated musician? Set in the 1900s in the closed world of the black bourgeoisie in Brooklyn, New York, Within Our Gates tells the love story of two people set apart by class and money.

A study of the lives and loves of three sisters, Within Our Gates is a satire of vanity, pretension and colour prejudice, revealing the clash between the generations as love in the community is hidden, lost, misunderstood, revealed and rekindled in the face of overwhelming odds and adversity.

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