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Check It Out: Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood by Dawn Turner

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This is Sarah Enright, with the Sioux City Public Library, and you’re listening to Check It Out. Today, I am recommending, Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood by Dawn Turner.

Dawn Turner, her younger sister Kim, and their best friend Debra spend their formative years in the south side of Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood. It’s the early 70s and the recent civil rights movement continues to infuse the community with the optimism of freedom and opportunity. The girls though, are more concerned with having fun, figuring out why the grown-ups do the things they do, and how they’re going to make sure they’re together forever.

As is the case with many childhood friends, and sometimes even family, there comes a point when life takes you in different directions and thus you grow apart. In the book, Dawn describes the slow, albeit inevitable, separation experienced in these once close bonds. She pinpoints certain events and decisions that can be credited with the ripples in their lives. And sometimes how it comes down to just plain fate. Despite having almost identical experiences growing up, each girl ends up on a different path leading to immensely different results.

Three Girls from Bronzeville reads like a heart-wrenching novel with an uplifting message as Dawn reflects on her own journey and what she could have done differently to influence her friend and sister. I found admiration for each of these women in different ways as they contended with their own struggles. Dawn presents their stories with grace and compassion ultimately concluding that “There but for the grace of God go I”. 

Find Three Girls from Bronzeville: A Uniquely American Memoir of Race, Fate, and Sisterhood and more memoirs like it at the Sioux City Public Library.

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