Legendary singer and musician Charles Wright shares his story of growing up in the racially-charged rural south of the 1940s in his autobiography, Up: From Where We’ve Come
Best known for the hit single Express Yourself, Charles Wright’s songs have been covered by countless artists throughout the decades. But before his rise to musical fame, Wright’s life was fraught with tribulation and tragedy.
Growing up on a cotton plantation in rural Mississippi, he was forced from a young age to harvest massive amounts of cotton each day or face a beating by his father. Though hard workers, Wright’s family lived in abject poverty and endured much hardship at the hands of the plantation owner, a ruthless sharecropper by the name of Edward Miles. Filled with the memories and events that made up Wright’s childhood during a very turbulent time in American history, UP: From Where We’ve Come is a powerful story of human struggle, and of victory in overcoming enormous adversity to achieve your dreams.
From humor and romance, to anger and moments of heart-pounding fear and tragedy, UP will take you through nearly every human emotion imaginable. As a person only two generations removed from Wright, I’m completely blown away at how much things have changed in this country in such a short span of time. The struggles, family issues, and poverty that the author fought to overcome is astonishing, while the positive and upbeat attitude he maintains through it all is truly inspirational. Taking an almost objective approach in documenting the racism and abuse he and his family endured at the hands of others, Wright sets the overlaying tone of the book from the very beginning with the following sentiment:
“We’ll all come to the logical conclusion someday that we are all God’s children and that we must ultimately learn to live together. Hopefully through an alternative train of thought, future generations will venture to make the world a better place where mankind will finally explore a better way of life.”
Readers should be warned there are a few moments of fairly graphic violence that spring up without much warning, and also some strong language is used throughout the book. Whether you are a devoted fan of Charles Wright and the 103rd Street Rhythm Band, a student of history, or just enjoy reading stories of human endurance and victory over struggle, you will certainly find something to take away from this heartfelt memoir.
Rating: 4 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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You can learn more about Charles Wright and his book UP: From Where We’ve Come by visiting expressyourself.net