After saying our good-byes to friends and neighbors, we all got in the cars and headed up the hill and down the road toward a future in Ohio that we hoped would be brighter, Otis Trotter writes in Keeping Heart: A Memoir of Family Struggle, Race, and Medicine. Organized around the life histories, medical struggles, and recollections of Trotter and his thirteen siblings, the story begins in 1914 with his parents. By tracing the family s movement northward after the unexpected death of his father, this engaging chronicle illuminates the journeys not only of a black man born with heart disease in the southern Appalachian coalfields, but of his family and community. This testament to the importance of ordinary lives fills a gap in the literature on an underexamined aspect of American experience: the lives of African Americans in rural Appalachia and in the nonurban endpoints of the Great Migration."
Ohio University Press
A Memoir of Family Struggle, Race, and Medicine