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C.C. Crittenden -  The Cherokee Advantage - One Woman's 20th Century Trail of Tears

  • Broadcast in Culture



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Carla is firmly convinced that her Cherokee ancestors imbued her genes with their courage, survival instincts and intelligence. She calls this The Cherokee Advantage. Carla’s misguided mother kidnapped her from her Cherokee paternal grandparents on her fourth birthday, August 10, 1942. This is a true “warts and all” memoir as told from her viewpoint starting from her earliest memory at age four. Her paternal grandmother taught her to read between the ages of 3 and 4. Carla was born with a naturally optimistic outlook and this shines through even the most horrific events occurring in her life. She is subjected to sexual and physical abuse from the age of four. Yet she manages to make the best of every situation, doing whatever it takes to continue forward, confident in her belief that something better is always ahead. When she was 14, her mother arranged her marriage to a 19 year-old airman, thus solidifying the on again-off again volatile relationship with her mother. Pregnant for most of her teenage years, resulting in the births of four children, she survives violent spousal abuse and the death of one baby. Finding herself alone, by choice, with three children, she desperately reaches out for help in taking care of them. This leads to unwise marriages to men who abuse her and want to possess her. Along the way, she successfully holds many jobs in different spheres and these jobs along with her constant reading are her education and confidence-building mechanisms. Her story has immense sadness and failure at times, but it also highlights her courage and intelligence in finding her way along her trail of tears to well deserved happiness. Read and be amazed!