How It Happens follows the fictionalized story of author Jean Alicia Elster’s maternal grandmother, Dorothy May Jackson. Born in Tennessee in 1890, Dorothy May was the middle daughter of Addie Jackson, a married African-American housekeeper at one of the white boardinghouses in town, and Tom Mitchell, a commanding white attorney from a prominent family. Through three successive generations of African American women, Elster intertwines the adaptations of the defining periods and challenges—race relations, miscegenation, sexual assault, and class divisions—in her family’s history. How It Happens carries the heart through the obstacles that still face women of color today and succeeds in holding open the door of communication between generations.
Available from: https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/how-it-happens