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March 07, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

PRIDE OF FAMILY: Four Generations of American Women of Color by Carole Ione (Avon: $10; 224 pp., illustrated). Raised by an assortment of often eccentric relatives, Ione strengthened her sense of belonging by tracing her ancestry. Her family was an extraordinary one: Ione's stern great-aunt as one of the first black female physicians in America; her merry grandmother, a former dancer in Fats Waller's "Hot Chocolates" of 1929, was the proprietor of the popular Spuyten Duyvil restaurant in Saratoga. Each personal reminiscence she overheard leads the author to pursue her research a little further, to the pre-Civil War South, to colonial Haiti, to France. Ione found the spiritual ancestor she sought in her great-grandmother Frances Anne (Frank) Rollin (1845-1901). The efforts to rediscover the career of this Reconstruction-era writer helped to give Ione the sense of family she so ardently desired.

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