Grateful American Kids

Fortitude

by Carrie Dalby

Growing up with a Creole best friend, sixteen-year-old Claire O’Farrell held little regard for the Jim Crow laws and the consequences of befriending those of a different color.

But once she leaves the haven of her home on Dauphin Island, the reality of racial intolerance can no longer be ignored. Though she’s underage, Claire makes the bold decision to serve alongside Loretta, her best friend, in the “colored camp” hospital tents during the Spanish-American War, but her idealistic attitude and choice of working location immediately puts her in danger.

Claire gives her heart to a soldier in the camp, only to find herself caught in the racial violence besieging the area. When the intolerant attitudes and stigma follow her home, she clings to her faith to navigate through her social isolation and find the path she was meant to travel.

“It was in April 1898 when I, Claire O’Farrell, made a decision that ultimately changed my life forever.

I had never been one to follow society’s “rules”. My oldest friend was a Creole at a time when that simply wasn’t done. Then, I made an even bolder decision by serving as a nurse for the Buffalo Soldiers during the Spanish-American War. By doing so, it was evident to all that I held little regard for the Jim Crow laws.

My choice of working in that camp hospital put me in immediate danger, but after I gave my heart to one of the soldiers there, I found myself caught in the racial violence besieging the area.

When the consequences of my past decisions followed me home, I had no choice but to cling to my faith and pray that I find the path I was meant to travel.”

New edition release March 5, 2019. Learn more here!

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