An Extraordinary True Story of Two Brothers and a Mother's Love
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The Muse brothers, George and Willie, were just six and nine years old, but they worked the fields from dawn to dark. Until a white man offered them candy and stole them away to become circus freaks. For the next twenty-eight years, their distraught mother struggled to get them back. But were they really kidnapped? And how did their mother, a barely literate black woman in the segregated South, manage to bring them home? And why, after coming home, would they want to go back to the circus?
At the height of their fame, the Muse brothers performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. They were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era. But the very root of their success was in the colour of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures they were forced to assume: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even 'Ambassadors from Mars'.
The result of hundreds of interviews and decades of research, Truevine by author and journalist Beth Macy, tells the extraordinary story of what really happened to the Muse brothers for the first time. It is an unforgettable story of cruelty and exploitation, but also of loyalty, determination and love.
Introduction - i: Prologue: I Am the True VineChapter - 1: Sit Down and Shut UpChapter - 2: White Peoples Is HatefulChapter - 3: And Still the Cry Against Us ContinuesChapter - 4: your Momma Is DeadChapter - 5: Some Serious SecretsChapter - 6: A Paying PropositionChapter - 7: He Who Hustleth While He WaitethChapter - 8: Comma, ColoredChapter - 9: The Prodigal SonsChapter - 10: Not One Single, Solitary, Red PennyChapter - 11: Adultery's Siamese TwinChapter - 12: Housekeeping!Chapter - 13: Practically ImbecilesChapter - 14: Very Good Old Colored WomanChapter - 15: Wilbur and JohnChapter - 16: God is Good to MeSection - ii: Epilogue: MarkersAcknowledgements - iii: AcknowledgementsSection - iv: NotesIndex - v: Index
The extraordinary story of two brothers from the American South who were stolen away to become circus freaks.