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Tarnished Legacy begins at the turn of the new millennium as the author begins to question the pain and secrecy surrounding the deaths of her maternal and paternal ancestors. What proves most troubling is her attempt to understand why all of her ancestors are buried in a poor Colored cemetery on the edge of the City of Philadelphia in unmarked graves. What social and personal shame marked the end of their lives? The story travels back to the late 19th/early 20th century and explores the social conditions which resulted in the birth of the first daughter of a concubine and the resulting social pressures, and privileges, that accompanied the Black community's "high yellow class." In so doing, it helps to shed light on the politics of race and social intercourse. Tarnished Legacy provides insightful revelations as to how folklore, history, humor and culturally embellished spiritual practices and beliefs are used as a form of social resistance from a racially oppressive social environment. Moreover, it details the author's struggle to come to grips with the social ramifications of race, poverty, class and color-caste at the beginning of her young existence and throughout her successful transition into a meaningful life. This remarkably engaging, well-written family memoir is a factually-based, historical account of four generations of family life in twentieth century Black America.