If Someday Comes
George Calloway was born into slavery in 1826. His mother was enslaved, and his biological father was the white owner of the Calloway Farms. At age twelve, George took his place with the rest of the black men and was expected to work like a grown slave. At eighteen, George was named the farm manager. Marsa Thom would remark that George could run his farm as well as any man. Marsa Thom would also comment to other white slave owners, “Why would I pay a man to do a job I could get done for free?”. That was the life George would live: he was capable and trusted but still enslaved. George married and fathered children. He was a good son and brother. He helped build a church for his father-in-law and was well-known and respected around town, but until 1866 he was enslaved.
If Someday Comes: A Slave’s Story of Freedom by David Calloway is the historical fiction of the life of his great-grandfather, George Calloway. As a white man reviewing this book, I found it very eye-opening. Calloway’s book covers the final nine years of slavery as a legalized institution and includes accounts of the American Civil War as it impacts the town of Cleveland, Tennessee. Calloway wrote his book from the stories he heard growing up. Most of this novel is based on fact. The people, actions, and places are all based on fact. Calloway admitted to embellishing details when information wasn’t readily available. For a large part, it’s a historical account of a troubled time in American history and the lives of his relatives during that time.
This is an essential read. While this may be a historical tale of one man, the overall picture one gets of that time is important in keeping history alive. Calloway does not white-wash the facts. He only dresses up the mundane to keep the story going. Accounts from people who lived the events should never be discounted just because they don’t offer a comfortable, feel-good story.
It is not a broad history of that time but an in-depth look at one person’s experiences. This book is for readers looking for a more accurate view of true history. With the stories coming from his own family, Calloway is able to provide a more personal account of the events. Readers need to acknowledge that this era in the U.S. is not that long ago. George is only one generation removed from himself. 150 years is not that long of a time, and family memories are still fresh.
|Page Count||427 pages|
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