"Without seeming to try, The World of Patience Gromes contributes as much to our understanding of the modern black inner-city as any book written in this decade." - Wall Street Journal More
After the Civil War, Patience Gromes and other African-Americans of her generation left the country and came to the city. They married, took jobs, purchased houses, raised families. They pursued the program of hard work and thrift that their parents and grandparents had perfected in the country after the Civil War. Patience Gromes and her peers brought the project that three generations of African-Americans had been pursuing to a triumpant conclusion in the Civil Rights Movement. Then came a complex new world that rewarded a person's ability to wheel and deal in the city world, a world that rewarded bootleggers and gamblers and those who knew how to maneuver in a realm dominated by whites. Those who merely knew how to work, save, rear their children, build churches, schools, social clubs - those who merely knew how to lead good lives found themselves cut adrift. In this new modern world, Patience Gromes could scarcely survive.