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A set of short stories by Langston Hughes. It is a collection of short stories based on what life was like for the black person in the 1920s.

The most notable story in the novel is probably a bittersweet tale "Cora Unashamed," which was recently made into a TV movie. It's about a black girl named Cora and her struggles through her life in Melton, a small midwestern town.

She plays servant to a fairly prosperous white family. She bears a baby to a white lover she could never be with, and at the same time, the family she works for, the Studevants, have a baby girl as well. Cora's child dies of whooping cough and she ends up raising the Studevants child, Jessie, pretty much as her own. Jessie is ostracized because she isn't too smart and pretty much her only close relationship is with Cora. When she turns nineteen, she becomes pregnant to a disreputable boy she has fallen in love with. Just as it looks like things are about to end well, Jessie's mother takes her to Kansas City, where she has an abortion. A month later Jessie too, dies. A cover-up by her family ensues. In the story's climax, Cora exposes the horrific truth to everyone at Jessie's funeral, in a heartwrenching speech about the clandestine abortion. In the end, Cora leaves to live with her somewhat disfunctional family. There she lives out her days.

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