"Chasing the 400" is the story of two African American siblings from a working class neighbourhood on Philadelphia's Main Line in the 1950s who try to make their dreams of a better life come true, despite the obstacles that Philadelphia's black bourgeoisie throw in their way. The back cover copy sums it up: the oldest of ten plumber's children, sassy and sexy Vera Marshall wants to leave her working class Main Line neighbourhood and secure a place in 'the 400' - 1950s Philadelphia's black bourgeoisie. When hired as a department store model, Vera thinks she's on her way. Her brother, Bobby, a hardworking, smart, all-around nice guy, dreams of college and a life different than his father's. Will Ned Daniels, the snobby son of their town's only Negro doctor, ruin their plans?Join the Marshalls and a cast of characters as they chase 'the 400' all over Philadelphia and the Main Line, hoping that the game is worth the chase. "Chasing the 400" provides a fresh and entertaining look into the small, thriving, working class and close knit African American neighbourhoods of the 1950s and into the exclusive world of the Black bourgeoisie.
Author, Sheilah Vance said that she wrote "Chasing the 400" with short, fast-paced chapters to appeal to readers like herself - hard-working and busy people who collapse in bed at the end of the day, eager to read an upbeat book about characters they can root for, and equally eager to feel that they've accomplished something for themselves by reading at least one chapter.