Jam on the Vine
3.84/5 by 511 users

Jam on the Vine


A new American classic: a dynamic tale of triumph against the odds and the compelling story of one woman’s struggle for equality that belongs alongside Jazz by Toni Morrison and The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Ivoe Williams, the precocious daughter of a Muslim cook and a metalsmith from central-east Texas, first ignites her lifelong obsession with journalism when she steals a newspaper from her mother’s white employer. Living in the poor, segregated quarter of Little Tunis, Ivoe immerses herself in printed matter as an escape from her dour surroundings. She earns a scholarship to the prestigious Willetson College in Austin, only to return over-qualified to the menial labor offered by her hometown’s racially-biased employers.

Ivoe eventually flees the Jim Crow South with her family and settles in Kansas City, where she and her former teacher and lover, Ona, found the first female-run African American newspaper, Jam! On the Vine. In the throes of the Red Summer—the 1919 outbreak of lynchings and race riots across the Midwest—Ivoe risks her freedom, and her life, to call attention to the atrocities of segregation in the American prison system.

Skillfully interweaving Ivoe’s story with those of her family members, LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s Jam! On the Vine is both an epic vision of the hardships and injustices that defined an era and a moving and compelling story of a complicated history we only thought we knew.

Title:Jam on the Vine
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:336 pages

    Jam on the Vine Reviews

  • Didi
    Nov 30, 2016

    Here's my video review: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTq_......

  • Leslie Reese
    Feb 01, 2016

    A few reasons why I gave this book 5 stars:LaShonda Katrice Barnett employs driving, full-bodied storytelling with sensual details;It features unconventional, yet honest depictions of African American...

  • Linda
    Feb 08, 2015

    This book has gotten many rave reviews, and I, too, found a lot to like. I was truly touched by the Williams family and their fight for dignity and worth. Barnett created someone real in Ivoe. I was l...

  • Taryn Pierson
    Jan 28, 2015

    I voted in our city-wide primary election today. When I arrived at my polling place, I was greeted by five enthusiastic poll workers—and exactly zero other voters. Sure, it's just a primary for a mu...

  • Jen
    Sep 12, 2014

    Ivoe Williams, growing up in the early twentieth century in Texas, dreams of a better future for herself, her family, and all African Americans. She is intelligent and bookish, and her family sacrific...

  • Britt
    Apr 15, 2015

    This is such a beautiful book. The relevance is maddening. A story of love and desire, Jam on the Vine is a call to be more not just do more. I loved this book and its amazingly resilient characters w...

  • Rena
    Nov 04, 2014

    This book is so many things. Good things....

  • Beverly
    Oct 19, 2014

    Thought coming shortlyThis will be one of my top reads for 2015....

  • Dawn Reno Langley
    Mar 19, 2015

    One of the reasons JAM ON THE VINE succeeds is because it's an honest and heartfelt story about family, love, and ambition. The characters are real, their hardships test them but do not break them, an...

  • Melki
    Jan 21, 2016

    "Naw, mistake number one was being born colored." Barnett's stunning first novel covers a lot of issues and moves through some tumultuous years between 1897 and 1925. I was touched, tickled, and more...