If you are a Christian

As I sit here researching human rights, including the treatment of immigrants, the poor, the oppressed, I am reminded of my spirituality and the religions that are based on LOVE. One Christian song goes like this:

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red and yellow, black and white

They are precious in his sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

If you are a Christian, do you believe the meaning of these words?

If you are not a Christian, what religion of love do you worship and celebrate? 

I know there are many and, for that, I am grateful.

With love,

Carolyn

I need your help. Seriously.

No matter your walk in life, we have all been affected by racial diversity. Some find it threatening. Others find is socially and culturally mesmerizing and exhilarating. For the purpose I am pursuing, let’s narrow it down to the white and African American culture.

While starting my new novel, my fear is the voice inside my head. It says,”How can you, a white woman, write about the African American experience in 1963? How could you possibly understand?”

Here’s my goal. To write an entertaining novel for all age groups but especially for young adults who may not know important historical facts about the Civil Rights Movement- which I will weave into the novel. I want the reader to take pause, reflect, and think about their actions going forward.

Big goal, huh? But I sincerely believe that understanding the past will put us in a better position for the future.

Here’s the premise to the novel:

In 1963, while staying with the unhinged friend of her deceased grandmother, a 14 yr old white girl from Texas meets a teenaged “Negro” boy from Alabama and learns first hand about racial injustice.

 

I am doing tons and tons of research. I have read “Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

So here’s how you can, hopefully, help me.

  1. Is this a reasonable goal?
  2. What suggestions do you have for reading material that may help my accuracy?
  3. What experiences have you had that led you to a racial awareness/enlightenment?

I appreciate any and all suggestions!

Thank you for reading and responding!

Carolyn

Oh, and if you decide to write on this topic, MAKE SURE YOU LET ME KNOW. I promise to reblog unless it is offensive to humanity.

Me and the world in 1977

Me

You probably know by now how much I love research. When I came across this photo of me on a camping trip in Colorado, I took a look back.

Notable things for me that year:

-President Carter grants pardon to American Draft dodgers of the Vietnam War

-Popular songs were the Eagles Hotel California and New Kid in Town, and The Bee Gees, How Deep is Your Love

-The first “Rocky” movie came out as did “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”

-The National Women’s Conference, held in Houston, was the first meeting of its type in the U.S. since the Women’s Rights Convention in New York in 1848.

But the best? The Medal of Freedom was awarded posthumously to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (to Coretta Scott King an MLK, Sr.)

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photo credit

 

Staying with a Fruitcake

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photo credit

Sitting on the leopard print living room couch next to Gladys, I know I’m living in an episode of The Twilight Zone. Not because Gladys sits in the exact same spot wearing the same flapper dress from when I got here three days ago. And not because Olvie hasn’t bothered to move her. I’m in The Twilight Zone because I have to spend the next few weeks living with a fruitcake.

I peek out the front window. Olvie’s at it again. Just a few minutes before, like she’s done every morning, she told me to “stay put” until she comes back inside with the newspaper. And like every morning, she won’t pick it up until she sees Elias Ford heading her way on his walk to work.

Olvie’s shuffling down her sidewalk towards the curb wearing her moo-moo and striped yellow and black socks. She bends down to pick up the newspaper. He must be getting close. Yep. I see him now. Mr. Ford has stepped into the danger zone, too close to The Property of Olvie P. Crazy.

Like always, Mr. Ford tips his shabby hat and attempts to hurry past.

Like always, Olvie steps in front of him with the familiar finger point and the poke, poke, poke to his chest.

I don’t get why she doesn’t like him. What’s the Controversy anyway?

Yesterday morning, Crazy Olvie had forgotten to close the front windows. I heard her ask Mr. Ford if she could spit on his shoes. “It won’t take long,” she’d said, almost politely.

I wonder what she’s quacking to him about this time. That his shoes need polishing? That his rusty lunch pail should be thrown off a cliff? That the only reason he still lives around the corner is because my daddy spent “too much time” repairing his house so the city wouldn’t tear it down? Mr. Ford lives in what some ignorant people call, The Black Pocket—a small thicketed area that folks like Dad fought to keep intact. Including the ten or so residents.

Mr. Ford shakes his head. I bet right now he’s wishing he’d moved after all. His expression reminds me of Tom Robinson in the movie To Kill a Mockingbird and the thought makes me sad.

I get in Gladys’ face. “Let me tell you. I’m not happy about being here either. So there.” She doesn’t respond, of course.

I must be catching her loony bug. Perhaps I won’t last a few weeks. Maybe not even day four. I ponder where to go and what to pack before I run away.

Excerpt from a work in progress.

Dancing with the Moon

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The moon over Memphis, looks down at me.

She shines on a river that drifts out to sea.

I can tell by her glow, what she’s trying to say,

“Please have this first dance with me.”

and we go one, two, three, one, two, three…

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painting by me

The moon over Memphis is dancing with me,

We shine on a river that drifts out to see,

She can tell by my glow what I’m trying to say,

“Please have this last dance with me.”

And we go, one, two, three, one, two, three …

(A song I wrote a while back)