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Searching for Bertha: Upcoming Book Sheds Light on Forgotten Part of African American History

Written by Linda S. Manuel, ‘Searching for Bertha’ traces Manuel’s path as she chronicles her journey into the fascinating lives of her ancestors and explores their deepest passions, complex relationships and the tumultuous time in which they lived. An odyssey of discovery, this book will upend everything that people thought they knew about African American history.

 

Columbus, OH -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/30/2014 -- Visitors to Linda S. Manuel’s website are greeted with a beautifully simple African proverb: “Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

It is by this proverb that Manuel wrote the narrative of her ascendants, getting to the bones of their lives, loves, tragedies, and dreams. It all began two decades ago, when Manuel began to search for her grandmother, Bertha, who died when Manuel’s mother was nine-years-old. Peeling back Time itself, Manuel researched with dogged persistence, even when it became apparent that African American history was a quagmire of confusion with attempts made to erase the shame and horror of slavery.

“I didn’t give up, and I think that’s why I was able to find out so much about my family,” says Manuel. “Of course it can seem like an insurmountable task, but my book is proof that it’s not impossible. Giving voice to our African American ancestors is one of the ways in which we can honor them, and tell their stories.”

Electrifyingly written, ‘Searching for Bertha’ offers an exquisitely rendered perspective on a largely hidden part of history.

Synopsis:

“Searching for Bertha is a creative non-fiction narrative that chronicles my genealogical search for my grandmother, Bertha Metoyer, who was born in the Cane River area of Louisiana. Bertha died unexpectedly when my mother was nine- years- old.

Because of this death, I never knew my grandmother and had no link to her past. This void, ever present in my life, is the reason I set out on a journey to discover my grandmother’s roots and find her missing link. Bit-by-bit this journey began to unravel a unique past—a past I never knew I had.

Written in my voice, the manuscript explores the personal lives of seven generations of a unique “Creole” family. Carefully documented, it uncovers the history of both French and African ancestors and the rise and fall of the wealthy multiracial “Creole” dynasty they created in rural Louisiana in the nineteenth century.”

‘Searching for Bertha’ will be released soon. To be notified upon its release to the public, please visit the official website.

About Linda S. Manuel
Linda S. Manuel is a teacher in Ohio’s public school system. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Louisiana State University in Louisiana and her Master of Science Degree in Curriculum Development from Ashland University in Ohio.

A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, she has taught for 24 years in the public school system. An avid researcher of genealogy, she has been researching the Metoyer family for twenty years. She is married, the mother of two children, and two grandchildren. She also enjoys reading, writing, gardening, and traveling.