ABOUT THIS BOOK
This novel is about a young man, Jule, who grew up in rural Alabama in the 1930s. He experienced a peaceful farm life filled with hard work in the hot sun followed by socializing by moonlight in the cooling hours of the night. His mother, Ollie Miss, raised him “ to be somebody,” as she said, and he always knew that he would follow her advice. As he grew, he developed a close friendship with the white storekeeper’ s son, Rollo, and an earthly love for Berta Mae, a neighbor girl. This quiet life changed abruptly for the young Negro boy when he fled Alabama and arrived in Harlem, there to gain a foothold in that world center of black social and economic power. Although a novel, Jule is strongly autobiographical and gives insight into a vanished Harlem, a glittering community that produced a rich outpouring of distinctively American literary works. J. Lee Greene’ s introduction places the novel in the context of the time and links this work with Henderson’ s earlier novel – Ollie Miss, also available from the University of Alabama Press – establishing its rightful place in Afro-American literature.