Read Your Blues Ain't Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell Online


"Intriguing...A thoughtful, intelligent work...The novel traces the yeasr from he '50s to the ate '80s, from Eisenhower to George Bush....She writes with simple eloquence about small-town life in the South, right after the start of the great social upheaval of he civil rights movement....Campbell has a strong creative voice."THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLDChicago-born Amrst"Intriguing...A thoughtful, intelligent work...The novel traces the yeasr from he '50s to the ate '80s, from Eisenhower to George Bush....She writes with simple eloquence about small-town life in the South, right after the start of the great social upheaval of he civil rights movement....Campbell has a strong creative voice."THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLDChicago-born Amrstrong Tood is fifteen, black, and unused to the ways of the segregated Deep South, when his mother sends him to spend the summer with relatives in rural Mississippi. For speaking a few innocuous words in French to a white woman, Armstrong is killed. And the precariously balanced world and its determined people--white and black--are changed, then and forever, by the horror of poverty, the legacy of justice, and the singular gift of love's power to heal....

Title : Your Blues Ain't Like Mine
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345383952
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Your Blues Ain't Like Mine Reviews

  • Alysia
    2019-05-04 00:12

    This book was a Mocha Girls Read book club book of the month for the month of February. Our theme was Fictional Black History and this book delivered in so many ways. Armstrong was a young Black city kid dropped into the South to stay with his Grandma when he is killed for speaking French indirectly to a White woman. No I didn't spoil it for you, that's where the story starts. The book then goes into decades of showing the reader the effects of his death in the community both in Hopewell and Chicago, with his family and friends, as well as the family of the killer.The story is more or less a fictionalized version of Emmett Till's death, a 14 year old who was killed in 1955 for whistling at a White woman. This book brought up so many different topics besides racism and all of it's ugliness, like domestic abuse, institutionalized poverty, injustice and countless others. The one thing that stood out to me was the anniversary of Armstrong's death. Every 5 or so years churches and community organizations remember the passing of Armstrong and the presence of his mother and other family members are requested. I really never thought about it until now, but how could you heal and stop mourning when the community is pulling the scape off your wound every 5 years? The lost of a child is never something you can get over but what about healing? Armstrong's mom never stopped mourning her son even when she had two daughters and a son who she made live in his dead brother's shadow. Bebe Moore Campbell is a wonderful storyteller. She brings the situations close to home and she makes you flip page after page. I found it hard to put it down because it is still happening now. #Blacklivesmatter I loved the ending and how things where mending. Reading a book that has so many characters with diverse backgrounds and ways of thinking can be a bit tricky keeping them true to themselves and letting them each grow but Bebe did it and did it well. This is another book that should be on the high school required reading list. Excellent historical fiction that rings true even now.

  • Garth
    2019-04-29 18:35

    Whenever I hear someone rave about The Help, I suggest they read Your Blues Ain't Like Mine. The Help has good parts, but on the whole Your Blues Ain't Like Mine -- a novel based on the Emmett Till murder -- seems so much more realistic and honest about how horrible conditions were for African-Americans in the 1950s South.Here's a post I wrote about the novel for Newsworthy Novels, a blog that matches novels to today's headlines and events (this entry was for Black History Month):

  • Shanae
    2019-04-28 21:25

    I just finished reading "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine" and all I can say is, "Wow!" Bebe Moore Campbell (may she rest in peace) wrote a really fantastic historical fiction novel. The language was beautiful! I'm fascinated by Campbell's writing. I am still trying to figure out how she managed to switch narrative voices, so accurately, with so many characters. Each character had a distinct voice. For example, the strongest characters, Delotha, Ida, Mamie, and Doreen all have a completely different voice, despite having the same struggle and the same roots. Campbell tackles several painful familial issues including self-hate, alcoholism, and lovelessness and she describes their affects on people so consumed by these issues that they embody the hatred, the alcohol and the lovelessness just to get through the day. Moreover, Campbell's depiction of the men in this novel, all weak, and yet still so strong, is amazing - one might assume that a man wrote the novel, Campbell is so in tune with the feelings men (must) have when they cannot make money, provide for their families, and feel oppressed by society. Additionally, this expression by Campbell is made so much more perfect by the fact that she shows that men are men regardless of race. I mean, it's brilliant. The very fact that Campbell can present 20, 30 and 40 years of American history in 332 pages (according to my copy) and still have the time to discuss the people and how they relate to the socio-political regress and progress of their surroundings. Campbell's depiction of Black America is astounding and while reading her novel, I couldn't help but feel as if I, too, were in Mississippi, on Mamie's porch listening to the field of singing niggers; living and loving in Chicago - finally free of my motherly responsibilities, able to be just a sensual woman; and feeling the anguish and frustration that come after having my nation dilly out rights to those my father said were meant to serve me. This is one of the best novels I've read in quite a while. Campbell captures the spirit of America in this novel. My only upset is that we, the reader, along with W.T. never got to hear what Odessa, William, Wydell, and Delotha used to sing.

  • Kevin Porter
    2019-05-03 20:17

    This modern day fictional retelling of the events that preceded and followed the brutal beating death of Emmett Till is a visual and visceral story rich with memorable and authentic characters, beautiful prose and dialogue that rings true. Bebe Moore Campbell is a powerful storyteller who captures the essence of the characters and times. Campbell is a treasure gone too soon.

  • mark monday
    2019-05-14 01:35

    amazing book but having to hear all of my white classmates dissect race was grueling.

  • Natasha
    2019-05-25 18:33

    This book is literally the story of Emmit Till created for those of us who were old enough to read and understand it in the 90's. I think that I took a stab at this while I was in my first year of college and ended up crying my eyes out. Not only for the loss of her son, but the way that the main character attempted to fill a void that her child left with other things, and the mere fact that she was put in a position to HAVE to do that. With the United States touting that we live in a post racial America, this book voices what so many people are having a hard time understanding. We're not. Bebe Moore Campbell is a passionate writer and she tells a hauntingly wonderful story of love, love lost, and love found.

  • Karenshaff
    2019-05-05 23:35

    Finished this book months ago, and it is amazing. The writing, and the story-telling make me feel as though I know the characters personally and have been in the deep south/Chicago amongst them. The story takes place before, during, and somewhat after the civil rights movement, in the south and some parts in Chicago. The blacks working as cotton pickers, getting lynched for the slightest things, the southern "white trash" poor being angry and jealous when the manual labor jobs and such are given to blacks, making it all the much harder for them to make a living in the newly mechanized cotton belt. A great read! Loved it so much I went and read 2 more books by this author...also excellent reads!

  • Abby Frucht
    2019-05-04 00:39

    I don't know why I waited so long to read Bebe Moore Campbell's novels. First, for their realism, their way of plunking you down into the gritty immediacy of whatever is happening in them..and there is a lot happening in them. Her take on black and white, men and women, segregation, integration....priceless. I grieve for this author and the loss of the other books she might have written had she not died so young.

  • Jessica
    2019-05-11 20:39

    The characters are so well written, I wanted to read more about them.

  • Linda
    2019-05-20 01:11

    Your Blues is a novel that you can't put down, but need to in order to absorb the reality of racism and American history. It parallels history and is peppered with references to actual incidences that occurred during the civil rights (Emmett Till). However, on the merits alone of being an excellent novel and story the characters will stay with you for a long time and may surprise you by feelings of empathy for the most hateful of people. Racism impacts all the lives of these characters in the deep South and gives the reader new perspectives to ponder.

  • Tiara
    2019-05-01 01:23

    So many feelings. Such an excellent read.

  • Carol Baldwin
    2019-05-17 18:18

    "The blues is something in your soul telling you they ain't no hope, shit ain't never gon' be right." (p. 410) This multi-generational book begins in the 50's in the Mississippi Delta and carries the reader through to the mid-80's. Ms. Campbell did an incredible job of portraying the racial conflicts in this time and place. Definitely a book with adult content, I would highly recommend it to those who are trying to understand the origins of racial tensions in the South. Kudos to Ms. Campbell for an heroic epic. My only criticism is that the last quarter of the book is hurried up as she brings the characters forward to face the changes that came as a result of integration.

  • Tynika
    2019-05-14 19:30

    This book was a good read. I leave that you got to know each character and the things they struggle with internally from their past as well as how their roles in society has shaped them. You get the perspective of the black Americans living in rural Mississippi during the 1950's as well as the perspective of the white Americans living in Mississippi. By the end of the book one thing is very clear we all struggle with something regardless of race, class or gender. Your Blues Ain't Like Mines was the perfect title for this book. The ending left me with a lot if unanswered questions.

  • Debra Battle
    2019-04-26 18:30

    I miss the fact that there are no more book left to red. I was at a friend's house a went though her book and pick this one to read and after a few pages found one of my three fav. I wish I could have meet her the books became a big part of my joy or reading!!!

  • Patricia
    2019-05-17 20:36

    This book is based on the story of Emmitt Till. It's soooo excellent. BeBe Moore Campbell did an amazing job of writing from the perspective of all of her characters. I think everybody should read this book.

  • T Neff
    2019-05-04 19:27

    What an inspiring story! It was a page turner from beginning to end. I really enjoyed it. It was spiritually touching. If you like books like this, you should also "Under the Peach Tree" by Charlay Marie.

  • Jenn Anne
    2019-05-05 18:13

    Fascinating. Well-written. Honest about difficult subjects including racism and domestic abuse. An intriguing exploration of the effects of a single violent action, weakness, strength, despair and hope. Well worth your time.

  • Dosha (Bluestocking7) Beard
    2019-05-13 17:13

    this is one of the best books I can remember reading.

  • Mel Bossa
    2019-05-19 23:18

    review sometime this week. Very good book.

  • Sandra
    2019-05-12 23:22

    El hilo conductor es el asesinato de un chaval negro en los años 50. Todos los afectados, los asesinos, los familiares y los conocidos, tejen su vida alrededor de las dolorosas secuelas y durante muchos años no podrán librarse de esa excusa. Lo mejor de la novela es la habilidad con la que ese hilo discurre a través del tiempo y la falta de pudor por parte de la autora a la hora de retratar lo peor del ser humano.

  • Ilyauna
    2019-05-21 18:15

    I had to read this book for my Intro to Black Studies class during my last year of college. I was skeptical at first because the points of view jumped around seemed somewhat distant, but as it turns out, it was one of the best aspects of the novel. It begins with an incident of misunderstanding that leads to a murder that incites the community of Hopewell more than any other killing before, leading to many different, yet similar people to become involved and interlinked forever.Also by having multiple characters' points of view, the book introduces intersectionality and the complicated hierarchy of race, class, sex, and gender very well, like few other books I have read. Campbell also does a good job of portraying the changing of tradition over time (i.e- women leaving school once they're married to care for their husbands and children to women leaving the home to work).For anyone looking to teach others about these intersections of identity, tradition over time, and show how those in power can keep even people with only a bit of difference between them apart and afraid to cross those lines (Lily and Ida have much in common, apart from their races), then this is definitely a book to consider.

  • Marcos
    2019-05-11 21:14

    This is an almost perfect novel, loosely based on the life and death of Emmett Till. Each character- dissected into two camps, African Americans and the Whites, are all multilayered in which multiple points of view are surfaced, to flesh out the ambivalences and fears many felt as Mississippi and Jim Crow life began to disintegrate. You have the Armstrong Todd (based on Till) camp, including his mother Delotha, Wydell, and children, Karen, Brenda and WT; and The Cox family, Lily and Floyd Cox- the murderers, their children FloydJunior and Doreen rounding out the main characters, as well as supporting characters such as Clayton and Ida, an interracial brother and sister separated by their wealthy racist father. The book can be heavy handed and repetitive at times- especially with the word nipples, (I've never read a book where the author has overused the word for effect, even though there are sex scenes) and how forgiveness seems to come as easily as it is denied. But the book itself is bluesy and real, a kind of harrowing version of true events that will play on like the blues it is supposed to be singing about.

  • Keyanna Taylor
    2019-05-25 17:26

    The book Your Blues Ain’t Like mine written by Beebe Moore Campbell is a truly intriguing and inspiring novel. Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine illustrates the lives of two families, one black one white but both very poor. The book shows these two families journeys through the period of the Civil Rights Movement and experiences with segregation. The characters within the novel help portray real issues and struggles that this time period in the American South encompassed. I enjoyed this book because it used the character’s point of view to help tell the story and bring about the issues of this time. This book was intriguing because of it’s interesting deeper meaning than just the everyday stereotypes of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. Another unique feature of the book is it’s timeline and how it takes place over several decades. This helps show the reader how America evolved and changed and how it affected the characters lives. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone!

  • Jamie Howison
    2019-05-01 01:39

    Set in both Chicago and the Mississippi Delta, Campbell's book follows three different (though definitely overlapping...) narrative threads, spanning three generations. It took me a while to get all of the names and characters straight, largely because I was reading the opening chapters in short sittings. When I made time to read good long chunks of the book in extended sittings, all of those characters began to come together, and I found myself caring quite deeply about figures from all three "threads." Part of what makes this book so strong is the way in which Campbell evokes compassion for figures on both sides of the southern colour divide, without making any of them artificially upright or heroic. They're all messy in their own way (some so messy as to be unlikeable...), but not a one of them is drawn without at least some degree of empathy. I need to read more of the work from her all too short life (1950-2006).

  • Graham
    2019-05-17 23:23

    I cannot recall why I had been reading the history of Emmet Till, but I had been, and it led me to add this book to my reading list, and then, as you might expect, reds it.This is an excellent book. Even the title is perfect -- it explores the blues for a variety of different people; the families of the murdered boy, the families of his murderer, friends, local people. And while they all have their tragedies, they are all different, and compelling, and moving. The author loves her characters. It's hard to see any of them, even the rich Pinochet clan, and not believe that she wrote about them thinking "I see what made them like this; I understand it". And that awareness is artfully communicated.The story spans many years, and the sense of history and time is omnipresent. It is almost a shock to start with what seems like history, and then start reading of McDonalds, of Bush, of the Chicago housing projects. This is a great book, and recommended strongly!

  • Ruth
    2019-05-22 21:30

    332 pages. Donated 2010 May."Intriguing...A thoughtful, intelligent work...The novel traces the yeasr from he '50s to the ate '80s, from Eisenhower to George Bush....She writes with simple eloquence about small-town life in the South, right after the start of the great social upheaval of he civil rights movement....Campbell has a strong creative voice."THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLDChicago-born Amrstrong Tood is fifteen, black, and unused to the ways of the segregated Deep South, when his mother sends him to spend the summer with relatives in rural Mississippi. For speaking a few innocuous words in French to a white woman, Armstrong is killed. And the precariously balanced world and its determined people--white and black--are changed, then and forever, by the horror of poverty, the legacy of justice, and the singular gift of love's power to heal.

  • Jonah Leigh Ramos
    2019-05-06 17:39

    This novel is surely revolutionary. Not the thing you'd take for light reading. There's just too much in it. The words are full. The words aren't mediocre and trash. The words paint. Some passages are poetic, but not the type any one will try too hard to get to understand. The metaphors are as understandable as the songs of the soul. I am fascinated by the way Campbell told the story in different points of view, that you can't just bring yourself to love one character and one character alone. Campbell can easily make anyone understand that blues ain't the same, identical blues for every body.And really, the aftermath of Armstrong's death is as powerful as an extended arm from the grave. This is a great work. The characters are still haunting me even after I got to close the book.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-05 23:32

    The joy is that there are whole worlds of authors out there waiting to be discovered. You never know what you will find. I have never read any Campbell before and while I didn't love this book and it isn't perfect, I really liked it and enjoyed the arc of the characters.This novel is based on the Emmett Till case. Campbell takes the structure of Till's vicious murder and follows the characters in the aftermath of the crime. The book deals with some heavy issues, but was readable and the fates of the characters was compelling and sympathetic. I chose this book for our February book club, so it will be interesting to see what the group thinks. I would recommend this to pretty much any fiction reader.

  • Debra E.
    2019-05-16 19:27

    one of my favorite writers

  • Bernie
    2019-04-25 23:13

    I would give this book more than 5 stars if that was an option. There are several stories going on at the same time that start in the deep south when prejudice and injustice against blacks was the law of the land. A young man from Chicago visits Mississippi and deals with the consequences of speaking French to a white woman. Another white man in this same town has a controlling father who dictates who he is allowed to love. Marrying a person beneath his station or who is not white is out of the question. This book was so good I could not put it down. You should definitely add this book to your T0-Be-Read list.