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Vivian Gibson's bestselling memoir of growing up in the 1950s in a segregated St. Louis neighborhood has been hailed by critics as "a spare, elegant jewel of a work" and "a love letter to Gibson's childhood."
Vivian Gibson grew up in Mill Creek Valley, a segregated working-class neighborhood of St. Louis that was razed in 1959 to build a highway, an act of racism disguised under urban renewal as "progress." A moving memoir of family life at a time very different from the present, The Last Children of Mill Creek chronicles the everyday lived experiences of Gibson's large family--her seven siblings, her crafty, college-educated mother, and her hard-working father--and the friends, shop owners, church ladies, teachers, and others who made Mill Creek into a warm, tight-knit African-American community. In Gibson's words, "This memoir is about survival, as told from the viewpoint of a watchful young girl--a collection of decidedly universal stories that chronicle the extraordinary lives of ordinary people."
Winner of a Missouri Humanities award for literary achievement, The Last Children of Mill Creek is an important book for anyone interested in urban development, race, and community history--or for anyone who was once a child.