Family Reading by Aaron B. Jackson has been published in the inaugural issue of Abandoned Mine. Click here to read it!
From Antibookclub –
“A young man strives to escape from slavery in this blistering epic from Jackson (Operation Burning Candle), a novelist and civil rights activist known for his contributions to the Black thriller genre of the 1960s and ’70s who died in 2012. Jubel plans his escape on the eve of cotton-picking season and upon the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which demands that all people who escaped from slavery must be captured and returned to their “owners.” . . . Jackson’s propulsive prose conveys Jubel’s urgency and his Odyssean string of obstacles . . The steady supply of action and psychological insights makes this a knockout.” —Publishers Weekly
After months of planning, Jubel prepares his escape. In two days, he will embark on a perilous journey to Canada to secure his freedom. And with the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, there will be no safe place for him until he crosses the border. Determined to break the generational shackles—his own parents having been sold and split apart from each other—Jubel will learn the path by forging it, and then return to the Windsor Plantation for Missy, the love of his life. Missy, meanwhile, holds a terrible secret of her own.
To Robb Windsor, the youngest of the clan at twenty-two, Jubel is as much as a friend as he is a prize slave. They grew up together, bonded. Now Jubel must navigate not only the physical terrain of the swampland while being pursued by salve catcher Big Kit and his dogs but also the psychological battlefield of being hunted by his only boyhood friend.
On his run for “the Freedom,” Jubel will meet many characters—some in pursuit of their own liberation, others with far more nefarious intent. At every turn, from swampland to steamboat to the North, he will have to make split-second decisions on who he can trust, and for how long.
This posthumous release of Jackson’s third and final novel includes a foreword by Jane Clark Jackson and an afterword by Dr. Brandyn Adeo.
Blyden Brown Jackson Jr. (1936–2012) was a civil rights activist who served as a founder of the New Haven, Connecticut, chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) before founding and becoming chairman of the East River chapter of CORE, located in Harlem. In his life he was a husband and a father, a community organizer, a builder, a marine, an emergency medical technician, a coach, and a teacher, among a plethora of other titles. His previous books are the novels Operation Burning Candle and Totem.
Jane Clark Jackson (foreword) married Blyden Jackson in 1975. They made their home in New York, Vermont, and New Jersey until Blyden’s death in 2012. As a nurse-midwife she adapted a British medical dictionary for American usage, The New American Pocket Medical Dictionary and wrote and edited a compendium of resource information for nurses, The Whole Nurse Catalog .
Brandyn Adeo, PhD (afterword) is an associate professor of philosophy at Raritan Valley Community College in Somerville, New Jersey. He received his PhD in philosophy from the New School for Social Research. His dissertation is entitled “The Revolution Must Be Funny: The Liberatory and Revolutionary Power of Comedy.” He also performs with his band, Universal Rebel, under the name Adeo.
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