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Tomlinson Hill

The Remarkable Story of Two Families Who Share the Tomlinson Name - One White, One Black

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A New York Times Best Seller!

Tomlinson Hill is the stunning story of two families--one white, one black--who trace their roots to a slave plantation that bears their name.

Internationally recognized for his work as a fearless war correspondent, award-winning journalist Chris Tomlinson grew up hearing stories about his family's abandoned cotton plantation in Falls County, Texas. Most of the tales lionized his white ancestors for pioneering along the Brazos River. His grandfather often said the family's slaves loved them so much that they also took Tomlinson as their last name.

LaDainian Tomlinson, football great and former running back for the San Diego Chargers, spent part of his childhood playing on the same land that his black ancestors had worked as slaves. As a child, LaDainian believed the Hill was named after his family. Not until he was old enough to read an historical plaque did he realize that the Hill was named for his ancestor's slaveholders.

A masterpiece of authentic American history, Tomlinson Hill traces the true and very revealing story of these two families. From the beginning in 1854-- when the first Tomlinson, a white woman, arrived--to 2007, when the last Tomlinson, LaDainian's father, left, the book unflinchingly explores the history of race and bigotry in Texas. Along the way it also manages to disclose a great many untruths that are latent in the unsettling and complex story of America.

Tomlinson Hill is also the basis for a film and an interactive web project. The award-winning film, which airs on PBS, concentrates on present-day Marlin, Texas and how the community struggles with poverty and the legacy of race today, and is accompanied by an interactive web site called Voice of Marlin, which stores the oral histories collected along the way.

Chris Tomlinson has used the reporting skills he honed as a highly respected reporter covering ethnic violence in Africa and the Middle East to fashion a perfect microcosm of America's own ethnic strife. The economic inequality, political shenanigans, cruelty and racism--both subtle and overt--that informs the history of Tomlinson Hill also live on in many ways to this very day in our country as a whole. The author has used his impressive credentials and honest humanity to create a classic work of American history that will take its place alongside the timeless work of our finest historians

Publishers Weekly Review

May 19, 2014 – On December 15, 2001, as Chris Tomlinson sat in the sun with Afghan warlords, LaDainian Tomlinson and the San Diego Chargers were losing to the Oakland Raiders. In this fast-paced and spellbinding tale, Chris, who is white, narrates with great verve the tale of a Texas plantation owned over the years by both white families and black families—including LaDainian’s—that share the same name. Drawing deeply on family letters, scrapbooks, and historical archives, Chris traces the history of Tomlinson Hill from the mid–19th century to 2007, when the oldest Tomlinson to live on the plantation dies. In 1865, just before his death, the then-owner of the plantation, Jim, informed his slaves of their status as free men and at least two of the former slave families on the land adopted the Tomlinson name. By 1945, Albert, who was white, had divided Tomlinson Hill into lots and sold them to black families who had spent generations on the land; a descendant of one of those families, O.T., raised his family, including his son, LaDainian, there. Tomlinson not only offers an engaging and poignant look into his own past but also a riveting glimpse of the history of race relations in Texas.
Tomlinson Hill
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jul 22, 2014
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with 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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