A segregated train ride from the Southside of Chicago to South Berkeley, California is only the beginning. Old-time trains and train travel are often romanticized, but Sara’s cross-country ride signals a life-changing ending and a much-needed new beginning. Before she boards a segregated train on the Southside of Chicago, Sara takes the reader on a series of goodbyes as she leaves behind treasured family, friends, and favorite places. With her children, all three under the age of four, Sara travels to join her husband, Ben, who is waiting in Berkeley, California. In the Julia Street Series, there are everyday triumphs, trials, and tribulations common to many in the all-Black working-class neighborhood where Sara and family settle. The reader will feel a strong sense of time and place while traveling through the decades as Sara and the country experience tragedy, loss, and unprecedented milestones.
Although the residents feel their neighborhood is exceptional, Julia Street is in every town.
Sara and Ben Jameson, with their three young children, brought to Berkeley their hopes and dreams for a much improved life in a city where they knew no one and had never been before. They hoped for a fresh start, a new beginning. What they hoped for and what they got were very different.
Most everything they thought they had left behind was waiting for them; separate but unequal schooling for the children, segregated housing, minimal employment opportunities. But despite these obstacles, they not only made it work, they thrived. Very quickly the Jameson family found their place in their all-Black, working-class neighborhood where they and their neighbors were not only homeowners but many owned the surrounding businesses. Their neighborhood was a fiefdom, and the adults were the beacons. And because of the adults’ sacrifices and their example, the neighborhood children went on to fulfill their wildest dreams.
The Julia Street Series lovingly spans 1943 to 2000. $0.99 each on Kindle.