I loved the book “All the Days Past, All the Days to Come." It is a wonderful historical novel by Mildred D. Taylor that takes place from 1944 to 1963 and covers the Great Migration.
This was the era when many of the Negroes or coloreds, as they were called then, moved to the northern States because employment was steady and on the rise. The story also details the relentless, cruel racism present across the country.
The narrative moves from Mississippi to Toledo, Ohio. It continues west to Montana to California to Colorado and Boston, looping back to Mississippi periodically before returning to Mississippi.
Cassie Logan, who is in several of the author’s other books, is the main character. Speaking in first person, she gives witness and testimony to events that will change American history with the enactment of Civil Rights Laws.
The story is about the Logan family and how the events impact them. Having fought the “white man’s war,” they return to heavily entrenched and enforced racism. They cannot vote; they cannot try clothes on in the store; they cannot swim in the pools; they do not receive adequate medical care, and are denied care. They are not allowed transportation to schools. They have to sit in the rear of the bus and cannot eat in restaurants with white people. Lynchings and murders occur without cause and the perpetrators of these crimes are rarely, if ever, brought to justice.
Things begin to change and gather momentum. A preacher, Martin Luther King, Jr., is speaking out and inspiring communities to be civilly disobedient. NAACP is organizing voter registrations across the south.
With television news now in peoples’ homes, the rest of the country is seeing the Freedom Rides and organized sit-ins at restaurants with increasing frequency. People are marching and striking. Colleges are forced to desegregate. Pressure begins to mount in Washington, D.C. for action. As things unfold quickly, Federal Marshals are brought in to maintain order.
The Logan family is tightly knit. They pray together, and truly love and support each other. They are educated. They have fears and prejudices and often simultaneously feel both hope and despair.
“All the Days Past, All the Days to Come,” is an excellent and accurate account of a troubled time in our history. The story and the characters are presented well. I highly recommend this book. It will stay with you after you read the last page.