Using Harlem’s cultural institutions and memorable characters as her backdrop, Mulligan writes joyously about weathering adolescence while history unfolds around her. This feel-good story resonates with humor and warmth as she chronicles her life among evangelists, curly-haired doo wop boys, snuff-dipppers, Fidel Castro’s entourage, interracial marriage, chitlin’ parties and testy interactions between West Indians and Southern blacks.
Meet Mr. Big B, the neighborhood numbers banker; join her at the Apollo for Thursday matinees and visit Smalls Paradise and the Hot Cha, when she and her father go bar-hopping on Sunday mornings. She befriends baseball’s Willie Mays in the shoeshine parlor, paints posters for the 1957 March on Washington, and tries, but fails to ingratiate herself into junior black society. This book is a living document of mid 20th-Century Harlem with appeal for all America.
“Most of us who have grown up west of the Hudson River, in “Indian Territory,” have a preconceived vision of that part of Manhattan called Harlem as a no man’s land of crime and danger. Mulligan proves us to be gravely mistaken.”
~Arlington Nuetzel, Author of Telephoto and 2027, New Madrid, Missouri
“The memoir’s tone is factual, fitting in well with the history, but the characters are so colorful that life doo-wops out of the pages. Mulligan can turn a phrase when she wants to, ‘… if she had said the moon was made of chicken fat, I would have given it some thought…'”
~Linda Austin, Author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight
Winner of the Independent Book Publishers Association 2013 Benjamin Franklin Gold Award
for both Autobiography/Memoir and Multicultural Writing
Winner of the 2012 Independent Publishers Award (IPPY) for Multicultural Adult Nonfiction.