The legend of the Yellow Rose of Texas holds an indisputable place in Lone Star culture, tethered to a familiar song that has served as a Civil War marching tune, a pop chart staple and a halftime anthem. Almost two centuries of Texas mythmaking successfully muddled fact with fable in song. The true story of Emily D. West remains mired in dispute and unrecognizable beneath the manipulative tales that grew up around it. The complete truth may never be recovered, but author Lora-Marie Bernard seeks an honest account honoring the grit and determination that brought a free black woman from the abolitionist riots of Connecticut to the thick of a bloody Texas revolution. A Lone Star native who grew up immersed in the Yellow Rose legend, Bernard also traces other stories that legend has obscured, including the connection between Emily D. West and plans for a free black colony in Texas.
February 24, 2020