They Got Daddy
One Family's Reckoning with Racism and Faith
Published by: Indiana University Press
An unforgettable journey through racism and faith across the generations.
January 15, 1959—a day that changed one family forever. White supremacists kidnapped and severely beat rural Alabama preacher Israel Page, nearly killing him because he had sued a White sheriff's deputy for injuries suffered in a car crash. After "they" "got Daddy," Israel Page's children began leaving the Jim Crow South, the event leaving an indelible mark on the family and its future. Decades later, the events of that day fueled journalist Sharon Tubbs's epic quest to learn who had "gotten" her mother's daddy and why.
They Got Daddy follows Tubbs on her moving journey from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to the back roads and rural churches of Alabama. A powerful revelation of the sustaining and redemptive power of faith and unflinching testimony to the deeply embedded effects of racism across the generations, it demonstrates how the search for the truth can offer a chance at true healing.
1. Gone, Just Gone
2. History Breathes Again
3. Drilling Deep
4. Migrating to a New Life
5. Getting Religion
6. A Different Kind of Shout
7. Policing Moonshine and Murder
8. A Country Lawyer
9. Good Times Meets the Brady Bunch
10. A Black Man's Capital Crime
11. He Was That
12. Fake Preachers and Winding Roads
13. The Klan and Me
14. Faith vs. Fear
15. Turning Mess into Ministry
16. Vengeance Is His
"In this compelling account of her preacher grandfather's 1959 kidnapping in the Jim Crow South, Tubbs unveils the tension between Black Americans' deep-rooted faith and their ongoing quest for full citizenship and justice. She brilliantly illustrates the persistent generational trauma that results from America's racially imbalanced social and legal systems for the oppressed and oppressor, the privileged and unprivileged, and the complacent and the activist, alike."~Rev. Keisha I. Patrick, Esq.
"Lots of writers have tackled America's historic abuses of Black people and Black families. But few handle the subject as deftly as Sharon Tubbs, whose They Got Daddy connects the trauma which reverberated through her own family history when her grandfather was abused by powerful white people, to the larger history of Black America's attempts to survive similar oppression. Her story is poignant and carefully told, filled with telling details and powerful writing, making the case that such injustices never stay in the past, but are passed through a family's DNA in a way that makes the trauma a living thing to be coped with every day. They Got Daddy provides important lessons on how to understand — and hopefully come to terms with — a legacy of oppression which remains a potent force in America to this day. "~Eric Deggans, National Public Radio, TV Critic and Media Analyst
"A gorgeous and haunting book, spun so carefully you can smell the dirt roads and the shirt starch and the bologna sandwiches. You hear the poetry in the voices of the characters. You feel how suddenly darkness drops and meanness strikes, and how steadfastly the family of Preacher Page leans on its faith. A triumph of reporting and storytelling."~Kelley Benham French, senior editor, USA TODAY and author of Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon.