by Sugar Turner & Tracy Bachrach Ehlers

Reviewer Rating:


University of Denver anthropologist Tracy Bachrach Ehlers spent several years in the mid-to-late-90s interviewing "Sugar Turner," a former welfare mother and caretaker to five children, to learn about life in an inner-city neighborhood and the challenges faced by modern-day low-income women.  Ehlers approaches Sugar's story as an ethnography, inserting fieldnotes where she analyzes Sugar's behavior and compares the plight of poor African-American woman to those of other groups that Ehlers has studied in her work.

As a narrator, Sugar is intelligent, upbeat, funny, and very honest about her life and some of the questionable decisions she's made (and continues to make) about parenting, looking for love, and hustling to stay afloat.  A very interesting look at a life that is often ignored by biographers.

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