Redbirds by Rick Bragg
Redbirds is Rick Bragg s poignant account of growing up in an impoverished white Alabama family poor to the point that even nigras would bring them food. Bragg was born the son of a violent, hard-drinking father and a strong-willed, loving mother who did all she could to protect her sons from the effects of the poverty and ignorance that had constricted her life. His father, after years of abusing both his wife and his sons, abandoned the family when Bragg was still a young child. As he grew up, Rick Bragg was a wild teenager who seemed destined to follow in his father s footsteps but a journalism class revealed a talent that was to allow him to avoid this fate. Redbirds vividly evokes his deprived yet exhilarating childhood, his mother s strength of character and his own escape from the treadmill of hopelessness that his two brothers still walk today.