In 1975 Tempestt Saville and her family are chosen by a lottery to "move on up" to Lakeland: one square mile of rich, black soil carved out of a Chicago ghetto, cradling, sparking apartment towers and emerald laws, where the elite of black professionals live in privilege, secure behind a ten-foot-tall ivy-covered, wrought-iron fence. This generation of blacks, only once removed from salt pork, fatback and biscuits, now dines on caviar and escargot.
Whatever lies outside the fence--whatever the world tells black people they can't do or be--doesn't apply to the residents of Lakeland. But what is shut out of those gates is another matter entirely: 35th Street where the lure of loud music, housing projects, and row upon row of battered brownstones and dilapidated stores provides eleven year old Temmy with a more intriguing landscape. Here the saved and the sinners are both so "done-up" you can't tell one from another: Alfred Mayes, the only street preacher and self-admitted connoisseur of, "Young fine thangs" (From the Book Jacket)
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