Ecology of a cracker childhood
Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse RayJanisse Ray grew up in a junkyard along U.S. Highway 1, hidden from Florida-bound vacationers by the hedge at the edge of the road and by hulks of old cars and stacks of blown-out tires. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood tells how a childhood spent in rural isolation and steeped in religious fundamentalism grew into a passion to save the almost vanished longleaf pine ecosystem that once covered the South. In language at once colloquial, elegiac, and informative, Ray redeems two Souths. Suffused with the same history-haunted sense of loss that imprints so much of the South and its literature. What sets Ecology of a Cracker Childhood apart is the ambitious and arresting mission implied in its title. . . . Heartfelt and refreshing. - The New York Times Book Review.
Ecology of a Cracker Childhood: 15th Anniversary Edition
Ray grew up in a junkyard in rural Georgia with forests all around and she combines her rural southern childhood experiences with the ecology of the forests she loved. Erica Kline. Engrossing memoir of growing up in southern Georgia in the sixties and seventies. While poor, Ray's family was better off than many in the wasteland of the Georgia coastal plain. However, her upbringing as the child of a manic-depressive, holy roller father set her apart.
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About the author
When your home ground is ugly, you still call it home. You call it home because that's where the taproot of your soul has wedged itself into the dark earth. Ray is haunted by the flat land of southeast Georgia, scraped bare of native longleaf pine and wiregrass, planted in cornrow monocultures of commercially viable pine. Georgia's first Crackers poor whites, from a word that means boaster, braggart walked into open forests of old-growth longleaf pine. Ray wants to understand both that forest and those people.
Growing up during the summer months as a child, I had the opportunity to spend time on a farm in Adel, Georgia, that my uncle and grandparents owned. We spent many days working in the fields rounding up cattle, followed by my granddaddy and I taking a stroll down to the pond to fish. He was a very religious man who told me that the earth and the land we inhabited were gifts given to us by God, and should therefore be respected and adored. Chapters eleven and twelve capture my attention most, because the message resonates deep in my roots. Like Ray, religion was a big part of my childhood, although mine was not as strict as hers because we celebrated all of the holidays, and for the most part my brother, sister, and I were allowed to wear whatever we liked. However, we were required to memorize Bible verses, as well as say a prayer every night before dinner. Her father enraged people with his outspoken opinions about how people should lead their lives, and it seems as though he felt that if the person did not like what he had to say, it made no difference, because he was only answerable to God.
Jump to navigation. Mission-driven publishing relies on the sustaining support of our community. This new edition updates and contextualizes the story for a new generation and a wider audience desperately searching for stories of empowerment and hope. Ray grew up in a junkyard along U. Highway 1, hidden from Florida-bound travelers by hulks of old cars. In language at once colloquial, elegiac, and informative, Ray redeems her home and her people, while also cataloging the source of her childhood hope: the Edenic longleaf pine forests, where orchids grow amid wiregrass at the feet of widely spaced, lofty trees.