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Special to the Atlanta Daily World

In her new book, “In Spite of Color: From Plantations to the White House” (published by CrossBooks), author Geraldine Phillips-Davis pens the powerful story of two men whose friendship spans a generational bond that defies the color barrier.

The son of an English peasant, Levi Roundtree has risen from poverty to create Cypress Villa, a beautiful plantation outside of Charleston, S.C., in the days before the Civil War. He is a compassionate master and enjoys a firm friendship with one of his slaves, Marcus Stanley. It’s a relationship that carries over to the next generation, as Marcus’s son and Levi’s son become best friends.

During the war, the Yankees try to burn down the plantation with Levi inside. Risking his own life, Marcus saves Levi and as a result, Levi makes him a free man. This sets the stage for Marcus to strike out on his own, and he becomes prosperous and successful. But the two never forget their friendship.

Throughout the years, as history moves onward, it carries the Roundtree family and the Stanley family with it. Fate keeps bringing together the descendants of Marcus and Levi at crucial times. From World War II through the civil rights movement and finally to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the bond forged between Levi and Marcus lives on.

Filled with vivid detail, “In Spite of Color” shows how friendship can transcend race, color and time.

“I sincerely believe ‘In Spite of Color’ will enlighten people about some of the hidden, positive facts about slavery,” Phillips-Davis explains. “Hopefully, it will help to erase racial barriers.”

Born in Fitzgerald, GA., Phillips-Davis is a retired educator who also worked as a columnist and feature writer for the Miami Times. She earned a BA from Spelman College and a master’s degree from Barry University. She currently lives in Georgia.

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