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The World According to Fannie Davis

My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A singular memoir highlighting "the outstanding humanity of black America" that tells the story of one unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and the life they lead in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s (James McBride)

In 1958, the very same year that an unknown songwriter named Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found Motown Records, a pretty young mother from Nashville, Tennessee borrowed $100 from her brother to run a Numbers racket out of her tattered apartment on Delaware Street, in one of Detroit's worst sections. That woman was Fannie Davis, Bridgett M. Davis' mother.

Part bookie, part banker, mother, wife, granddaughter of slaves, Fannie became more than a numbers runner: she was a kind of Ulysses, guiding both her husbands, five children and a grandson through the decimation of a once-proud city using her wit, style, guts, and even gun. She ran her numbers business for 34 years, doing what it took to survive in a legitimate business that just happened to be illegal. She created a loving, joyful home, sent her children to the best schools, bought them the best clothes, mothered them to the highest standard, and when the tragedy of urban life struck, soldiered on with her stated belief: "Dying is easy. Living takes guts."

A daughter's moving homage to an extraordinary parent, The World According to Fannie Davis is also the suspenseful, unforgettable story about the lengths to which a mother will go to "make a way out of no way" to provide a prosperous life for her family -- and how those sacrifices resonate over time. This original, timely, and deeply relatable portrait of one American family is essential reading.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 10, 2018 – Novelist Davis (Into the Go-Slow) honors her mother in this lively and heartfelt memoir of growing up in 1960s and '70s Detroit. Before there was the Michigan Lottery, there was the numbers an illegal lottery based on three-digit numbers. As Davis notes, it was a "lucrative shadow economy" in African-American communities. Fanny Davis was a feisty and sharply intelligent woman who moved her family from Nashville, Tenn., to Detroit in the early 1960s. There, she learned the numbers ropes and set out to run her own operation; in a short time she was able to provide generously for her family with an upscale house, a stocked refrigerator, shopping sprees at tony department stores, and even a trip to Miami Beach's Fontainebleau resort. Alongside her mother's story, Davis chronicles the hardships African-Americans suffered predatory real estate schemes, discriminatory treatment in stores, and police abuse. Looking back as an adult, Davis realizes that her mother took risks in running her business, but recalls fondly a childhood during which she always felt secure. This charming tale of a strong and inspirational woman offers a tantalizing glimpse into the past, savoring the good without sugarcoating the bad.
The World According to Fannie Davis
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jan 29, 2019
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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