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Monday, November 16, 2015

The Struggles and Triumphs of Four Black Brothers in the Early Decades of the 20th Century

Roberta's Boys By Ann Carlson

Roberta’s Boys: Dr. Nathan A. Pitts, Dr. Raymond J. Pitts, Robert B. Pitts, Dr. Willis N. Pitts Jr.

NationwideRoberta’s Boys by Ann Carlson tells the story of how a mother’s powerful love was the inspiration for four uncommonly successful African-American brothers. They were born in the early years of the 20th century to an educated and ambitious African American couple of Macon, Georgia. Their parents, part of the emerging black middle class, gave them an affectionate family, a close community, and the best schooling available to blacks at that time.

Then family tragedy took resources and security away, and scattered the boys to the four winds. In the years of the Great Depression, through World War II and beyond, these men would have to summon every ounce of the faith and fortitude they learned at their mother’s knee: to survive, to become educated, and to each make their own, notable contribution to the nation in government service or education.

Sensitively written and meticulously researched, Roberta’s Boys highlights the positive contributions of, and offers keen insights on, black lives during some of the most difficult times in our nation’s history: the decades between the Reconstruction period and the Civil Rights Movement. Ray Pitts—founder of the Pitts Family Trust and the family historian—devoted his final decades to collecting and preserving his brothers’ stories and his own, to the end that his grandchildren, with their generation, could discover who they are by knowing where they came from. A must for history buffs, scholars, and anyone who simply enjoys a good story.


Here’s what others are saying:

“I am excited to use this book with my classes. My highly multicultural students clamor for books about the everyday lives of minority Americans. This story encourages them to believe in themselves and expect more from the future than they ever thought possible.” — Ellen Mainville, prison Director of College Programs

“When we look at the great mosaic of black American history, it is sometimes hard to see how individual pieces contribute to the whole. “Roberta’s Boys” is the moving, personal story of five of those pieces — Roberta and her four sons — whose lives and accomplishments bring the mosaic to life and enrich our appreciation of it.” — John T. Bruer, President Emeritus, James S. McDonnell Foundation

“Those seeking inspiration would be hard-pressed not to find it here; every page is filled with the brothers’ impressive achievements despite facing many hardships and prejudices. … Roberta’s Boys is a wonderfully inspirational story of a family that was determined to succeed despite every obstacle.” — Foreword Clarion Reviews

“The book provides thorough, frank details about one black family’s experiences during the beginning of the 20th century.” — Kirkus Reviews


About the Book:
Roberta’s Boys
by Ann Carlson,
for the Pitts Family Trust
Hardcover, 282 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9962883-0-9
Available Dec 7, 2015
Distributed by Ingram. Available from your local bookstore, Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com


About the Author:
Ann Carlson is a free-lance writer, hybrid publisher, and independent policy consultant. She lives in northern New York and southeastern Virginia with her partner Jan and their two cats, Amí and Sophia.


Ann Carlson