"Sugar of the Crop" by Sana Butler tells the story of an unprecedented quest to find the last surviving children of slaves. In a revealing journey that takes the author from Los Angeles to Louisiana, from a Harlem church to a Virginia nursing home, Sana Butler paints a fascinating picture of freed slaves as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers and tells the story of how they raised children after the Civil War.
Butler conducted interviews for nearly a decade with many centenarians whose parents were slaves. She reveals how African Americans emerged from slavery with a powerful drive to put the past behind and a deep commitment to make the most of their opportunities. Like immigrants, freed slaves faced a new America with hopes and dreams for their children and the nation's future. The sons and daughters were raised to be independent and often fearless thinkers, laying the groundwork for what would later become the Civil Rights Movement.
Although everyone told Butler that this generation was long dead, Butler found priceless oral histories that might have otherwise been forgotten. In so doing, she turns history as we know it upside down.