Everything you need to understand or teach The Beginning of Homewood by John Edgar Wideman.
The story opens as the narrator tries to explain how the story came into being. It began, he says, as a letter to his brother, which he "began writing on a Greek island two years ago, but never finished, never sent." Addressing his absent brother, he then proceeds to tell "the story that came before the letter," the story about his great-great-great-grandmother Sybela Owens and how she escaped slavery and settled in Pittsburgh in what is now known as Homewood.
At his grandfather's funeral, the narrator had heard the elderly aunts talk of Sybela and the beginnings of Homewood. Through the intervening voices of his aunt May and Bess, the narrator relates the story of Sybela's "escape, her five-hundred-mile flight through hostile, dangerous territory."
Having been a slave on a plantation near Cumberland, Maryland, Sybela escaped one night with her two small children and Charlie Bell, the white... View more of the The Beginning of Homewood Summary