The premise of the book is the past influences the present. The author gave many examples of how those descended from slaves grew up through-out the generations with oppression still a part of their lives as parents and grandparents taught them how to think and behave. I thought that the stories that the author told to illustrate her points were the best parts of the book.
I don't know if the author used these words, but the book also brought to mind and reflections on genetic memory and how it unconsciously influences people.
It was an interesting book. If you are interested in knowing more about it, here is the website: