The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers

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A singular memoir highlighting "the outstanding humanity of black America" that tells the story of one unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and the life they lead in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s (James McBride)

In 1958, the very same year that an unknown songwriter named Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown Records, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee borrowed $100 from her brother to run a Numbers racket out of her tattered apartment on Delaware Street, in one of Detroit's worst sections. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis' mother.

Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, granddaughter of slaves, Fannie became more than a numbers runner: she was a kind of Ulysses, guiding both her husbands, five children and a grandson through the decimation of a once-proud city using her wit, style, guts, and even gun. She ran her numbers business for 34 years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: "Dying is easy. Living takes guts."

A daughter's moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to "make a way out of no way" to provide a prosperous life for her family -- and how those sacrifices resonate over time. This original, timely, and deeply relatable portrait of one American family is essential reading.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Little, Brown
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Published on
Jan 29, 2019
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780316558716
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Biography & Autobiography / Women
History / African American
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A deeply personal memoir spanning three generations of women, this is the intimate autobiography of Emmy Award–winning actress Debbi Morgan, best known as Angie Hubbard on the long-running soap opera All My Children.

Raised in the South Bronx and beloved for the diverse and captivating characters she’s played, Debbi Morgan enjoyed a thirty-year tenure on All My Children before joining the cast of The Young and the Restless and later appearing opposite Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson in several films. But this book is not about her career, and it’s not about Hollywood. It’s not even about her rise to stardom. Charting her family history as well as her own life from childhood to the present in this compelling memoir, Debbi reveals the fear, doubt, and insecurities she’s struggled with for much of her life—and how she escaped a vicious cycle of pain to find self-confidence, happiness, and success.

Early on in her family history, an ugly pattern of abuse developed into fear, insecurity, self-doubt, and emotional trauma, which passed down from one generation to the next. From her maternal grandmother, who was beaten by her husband as they struggled through the Great Depression, to Debbi’s mother, who became pregnant as a young teen and suffered the same abuse as her mother, down to Debbi, who internalized the physical abuse she watched her mother endure, a deep-rooted fear plagued all three generations of women. But through it all, Debbi endured, and with a good dose of humor and self-compassion, she emerged with the deepest love of herself—and her mojo quite intact!

Told with intense emotion, candor, and a barrage of belly laughs, Debbi shares a deeply moving, explosive, yet inspirational journey about what it took to break the cycle and emerge as a confident, fearless woman.
“Davies' collection of essays soars.... It's a memoir that locates the profound within the ordinary.” —Entertainment Weekly

If you’re looking for a typical parenting book, this is not it. This is not a treatise on how to be a mother.

This is a book about a young girl who moves to a new town every couple of years; a misfit teenager who finds solace in a local music scene; an adrift twenty-something who drops out of college to pursue her dream of making cheesecake on a stick a successful business franchise (ah, the ideals of youth). Alone in a new city, she summons her inner strength as she holds the hand of a dying stranger. Davies is a woman who finds humor in difficult pregnancies and post-partum depression (after reading “Pie” you might never eat Thanksgiving dessert the same way). She is a divorcee who unexpectedly finds second love. She is a happily married suburban wife who nevertheless makes a mental list of all the men she would have slept with. And she is a parent who finds herself tested in ways she could never imagine. In stories that cut to the quick, Davies explores passion, loss, illness, pain, and joy, told from her singular, gimlet-eyed, hilarious perspective.

Mothers of Sparta is not a blow-by-blow of Davies’ life but rather an examination of the exquisite and often painful moments of a life, the moments we look back on and say, That one, that one mattered. Straddling the fence between humor and, well...not humor, Davies has written a book about what it’s like to try to carve a place for oneself in the world, no matter how unyielding the rock can be.

In the tradition of The Promise of a Pencil and Kisses from Katie comes an inspirational memoir by the founder of Comfort Cases about his turbulent childhood in the foster care system and the countless obstacles and discrimination he endured in adopting his four children.

Rob Scheer never thought that he would be living the life he is now. He’s happily married to his partner and love of his life, he’s the father of four beautiful children, and he’s the founder of an organization that makes life better for thousands of children in the foster care system.

But life wasn’t always like this.

Growing up in an abusive household before his placement in foster care, Rob had all the odds stacked against him. Kicked out of his foster family’s home within weeks after turning eighteen—with a year left of high school to go—he had to resort to sleeping in his car and in public bathrooms. He suffered from drug addiction and battled with depression, never knowing when his next meal would be or where he would sleep at night. But by true perseverance, he was able to find his own path and achieve his wildest dreams.

“A heartwarming, hopeful memoir brimming with humanitarianism and compassion” (Kirkus Reviews), Rob’s story provides a glimpse into what it’s like to grow up in the foster care system, and sheds necessary light on the children who are often treated without dignity. Both a timely call to action and a courageous and candid account of life in the foster care system, A Forever Family ultimately leaves you with one message: one person can make a difference.
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER
LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE WINNER
HEARTLAND AWARD WINNER 
DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE FINALIST
      
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times  • USA Today • O: The Oprah Magazine • Amazon • Publishers Weekly •  Salon • Newsday  • The Daily Beast
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New Yorker •  The Washington Post • The Economist • Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle •  Chicago  
Tribune • Entertainment Weekly • Philadelphia Inquirer • The Guardian • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch  • The Christian Science Monitor 

 From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
 
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.
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