Pourin' Down Rain


120 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 1-55059-010-3
DDC 971.23'00496




Reviewed by Joan McGrath

Joan McGrath is a Toronto Board of Education library consultant.


Cheryl Foggo spent her young girlhood in Calgary, scarcely aware of
being black in a community where there were very few black citizens: the
stares of the curious she accepted as “an acknowledgement of our
status as important and beautiful people.”

Later in life she encountered the baseless hostility of racial bigotry,
with all its undeserved pain. From being all but unconscious of her own
blackness, Cheryl made it the focus of her life, her very reason for
being. Part of this preoccupation with her race was a consuming interest
in family—specifically, her own family and its ramifications. Here, in
a rambling narrative, she creates a patchwork of all the remembered
bits, pieces, and scraps of family lore and reminiscence: stories of her
great-grandfather, who suffered slavery; the great-grandmother who may
have been white merely pretending to be black; and all their many
descendants. Foggo wanted to learn “what it meant to be black in North
America.” She has learned—though certainly not all—a very great
deal about that subject; and she conveys a sense of a proud family
history in microcosm.


Foggo, Cheryl., “Pourin' Down Rain,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/10867.