Gerry Withers is a naive, church-going twenty-one year old black woman reared under the old school authoritarian rule of Gramma Mae. Though Mae’s heavy-handedness had successfully guided Gerry along the “straight and narrow” throughout her youth, it wields little power when Gerry impulsively marries a soldier she meets while working at the local commissary. It seems to be the ultimate coup to escape from Mae’s stronghold…until John is sent overseas to fight in the Korean War. Alone, inexperienced and unprepared for “big girl” life, Gerry becomes the target of Ben Cash, the notorious local playboy. Flattered by his advances and confused by her emotions, Gerry discovers that staying loyal to her marriage is more than a matter of resolve or grit.
GFB Grown Fokes Bidniss illustrates how a young woman, used to a simple life in which bossy grown folks called the shots for her, quickly landed herself neck deep in the kind of grown folk business adults shushed talking about ’til young ‘uns were clean out of earshot. Well-narrated in Ebonic dialect, and richly seasoned with soulful, southern, African-American traditions and culture, this tale also shows how Tampa’s blacks of the 1950s lived and succeeded in the face of racial restraints that literally cocooned them from white mainstream society.