Your Blues Aint Like Mine, a novel written by Bebe Moore Campbell explores the deep racial segregation and injustices committed in a rural Mississippi village of Hopewell. It traces the lives of the family of a fifteen year old young Chicago born boy…….
Your Blues Aint Like Mine, a novel written by Bebe Moore Campbell explores the deep racial segregation and injustices committed in a rural Mississippi village of Hopewell. It traces the lives of the family of a fifteen year old young Chicago born boy by the name Amrstrong Tood who is murdered for speaking some few French words to a white lady, Lily Cox, and the lives of the Coxs’ for a span of about 30 years; beginning from 1950s to 1980s (Campbell, 1995).
The story begins with Armstrong being by her mother, Delotha, to live in Mississippi with his grandmother, Odessa, after it becomes hard for her to continue to make ends meet for both of them and her absentee husband, Wydell. the story outlines the events that led to the murder of Armstrong Todd after he speaks to Lily Cox in French the in town’s pool hall for blacks which belonged to Floyd Cox, Lily’s Husband, where he had been convincing his fellow blacks how educated he was. In the process, Floyd sees Todd talking to her wife, but not knowing French and not caring much about blacks he mistakes the words leading to the murder of Todd.
As the title suggests, the book looks at the lives and thoughts of the grieving Todd’s family and the lives of the Cox family and some other few members of that society like Clayton Pinochet, Marguerite and Ida. It reveals that beneath all the veil of race; black or white, there are the struggles that each person undergoes though not in a similar manner (Jones, 2004).
After the death of their son Armstrong, Delotha and Wydell reunite and even have a son, whom Delotha calls Armstrong even though it is Wydell Jr. the family struggles with the fear of loosing their son Wydell Jr. to racism and the streets of Chicago. They protect him a lot lest they also loose him. At the same time, they have a fresh start; Delotha convinces Wydell to quit drinking and to go to a barber school so that they can start a salon together.
Lily Cox struggles with staying with her husband Floyd just because she is dependent on him in all things. This is despite the fact that she is not sexually satisfied by Floyd and seeks for more excitement outside. Floyd also struggles with his inability to get a stable job (Gussow, 2002).
Clayton and Ida are in struggle after Ida realizes that she is Clayton’s half sister. Even though she is black, she demands her equal right to the inheritance of their father after the death of their father. Clayton swears that he will fight Ida, however he realizes that he is just as supremacist and patriarchal as his father.
All the characters n the book depict their struggle with accepting racism and its impacts. The Cox family is changed for ever by the incidence of murdering Todd. Todd’s family is also psychologically affected by his loss. Clayton struggles with his inability to commit to a black woman, Marguerite, whom she loves sexually and emotionally, Marguerite and Ida, in their poverty, struggle to leave the life where they have provided for by Clayton in leu of freedom.
The Author has therefore succeeded in showing the various downs (blues) of each person in the book and to an extent, their race and contrasted them with the blues of another character in the same story but of a different race (Metress, 2002)