In the darkness of their bedroom, Jean held Florentine and the baby close as she cried, not only for the future of the new little boy but also for their own hopes and dreams of living without fear.
In 19th century New Orleans, real-life legislator Jean Benjamin Esnard, and his family struggled to conceal their mixed-race ancestry and pass as white in the increasingly hostile racial environment of the post-Civil War South. Their secret began to unravel, however, when their son, Adrien, was born darker than his siblings and labeled "C" for "colored" on his birth certificate. As desperation sets in, Jean Benjamin and his wife Florentine must make the heartbreaking decision to separate the family in order to save it.
In Jumping the Fence, Maureen Gilmer shares the extraordinary true story of early civil rights activists—her ancestors—who stopped at nothing to protect each other and their assets in the struggle against slavery and segregation.