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Stars Fell on Alabama © 1934
"1st Edition!" by Carl Carmer
This is a very rare, true classic, some of the best reading I have done in a very long time. Takes you back to yesteryear when during the war, slave, and the country hicks way of life.
Illustrated by Cyrus LeRoy Baldridge.
STARS FELL ON ALABAMA
Some of the places/things mentioned are:
Ku Klux Klan.
Indians of Tuscaloosa-Great Chief Tush-ka-lusa.
Nokomis, Escambia, AL.
Eutaw, Al.-Letter written by S. J. Chapman to Mrs. Chapman.
Green Co., AL.
Mobile, AL. and the Bayou Country.
Includes old Mountain superstitions.
Old Negro superstitions.
Names many quilt patterns.
Names of old fiddlers tunes.
Many old poems
Voodoo Conjuring-Conjur Woman:
To Cure Warts.
To Drive Your Rival Out of the Country.
To Give Your Rival Bad Luck.
To Get a Girl To Sleep With You.
To Keep Wife From Flirting Around.
To Keep Your Land and Have a Good Crop.
To Know When You Have Been Tricked.
To Revenge Yourself On An Enemy.
To Cure Misery in de Back.
To Keep Your Girl Coming To You Regularly.
Arriving in Alabama on a train from New York, Carl Carmer wrote of a strange country he visited, as different as another planet from his known world.
He roamed and wrote of people he met, and their foreign way of life, .... the whisky-swilling backwoods men of Alabama, the raw towns like Birmingham during the 20s and 30s, ... the Scottsboro boys, ... the Klux Klan, ... oral and cultural traditions among Alabama African Americans, ...the Civil War veteran who became a murderer of U.S. marshals and a religious zealot, and who was lynched to avoid a trial and certain execution, ... the great outlaws, The Outlaw Sheriff of Sumter County, Rube Burrow: Alabama Robin Hood, and Railroad Bill, one white, the other black and so feared his body was displayed in several cities to prove he was dead.
Carl Carmer paints a vivid, sometimes charming, occasionally horrifying, but always fascinating picture of the complex and diverse black and white communities.
The "N" word is used throughout, describing cultural and folk roots, "Conjure Woman", "Black Rituals", "Stud N.....", etc. And then, there's "Two-toed Tom", a 15 foot aligator thought to be trapped in a pond, only to be found surfacing in a nearby pond, devouring a 12 year old child.
Years later, scientists learned of the ancient underwater tunnels of the reptiles, as Tom moved on to become a legend in Florida.
"All of the events related in this book happened substantially as I have recorded them.
It has been necessary in a few instances to disguise characters to avoid causing them serious embarrassment (for instance my hosts during the lynching).
I have also taken the liberty of telescoping time occasionally--since I have attempted to select significant occurrences which took place over a span of a half-dozen years.
The number of people who have helped me in the making of this book is legion. It must include a surprisingly large percentage of the inhabitants of Alabama.
I should be graceless indeed, however, if I did not own my gratitude to Ruby Pickens Tartt and her daughter, Fannie Pickens Tartt, who made my Black Belt excursion possible; to Knox Ide and Robert Harwood who wandered the Red Hills with me; to the Honorable Earl McGowin and Francis Inge whose companionship throughout my life in Alabama and afterwards has been full of affectionate encouragement; to Clyde Robinson who has been an indefatigable scout for interesting material; to Marie Bankhead Owen of the Alabama State Department of Archives and History; and to all my Negro friends, unfailing in their warm-hearted assistance."
This is a hardbound book of 294 pages, decorated endpapers and wonderful illustrations by Cyrus LeRoy Baldridge.
It was published in 1934 by Blue Ribbon Books. It is in good condition.