Celebrating Rather Than Understanding
"...We tend to want a very "redemptive" Civil Rights movement, stories of saints and crusades, in which unarmed truth and unconventional love inevitably prevail. The conventional narrative of Dr. King and the nonviolent Civil Rights movement is soothing, inspirational and politically acceptable, and has only the disadvantage of bearing no resemblance to what actually happened."
...Tim Tyson, Publisher's Weekly
, April 19, 2004, p56
Discussion on 9/29
Thoughts, issues, questions people wrote on notecards before we began the first discussion:
"Thinking of the period of the 1970s, the impact on children like Gerald Teel...
how racism affects them even today -- how they pass it on"
"The role of the church and the Catch-22 for white liberals"
"The effect on African Americans and the legacy for the future, including today"
"Seeing this through white eyes... what it means today (lessons learned)"
"We all have our stories"
"What can libraries do?"
"I would like to hear more about Tim Tyson and why he wrote this book"
"I never learned about this in public school -- especially not with this intensity"
"How many people fall into the a) don't know about this or b) deny its importance"
"The memoir/history format was very appealing and make it even more forceful than a standard textbook"
"Very scary book -- this wasn't that long ago and continues... and the sister killed in Milwaukee -- I thought, this doesn't happen in Wisconsin"
"I was struck by *the power of 1st person narrative *the blaming of the racism & the town's willingness to continue it"
"What are our own personal journeys -- have people talked to relatives about local race history? My grandmother talked about going to KKK meetings (in Iowa) when she was a young girl. 'It was a good place to meet boys,' she said."
"The whole discussion of sexuality -- black male sexuality -- as the crux of the 'problem'"
"I would like to discuss where we are today in this country in terms of integration and projections about where we might be headed"
"The violence -- the efficacy of violence -- and my antipathy for it.. but maybe it's necessary?"
Read this interview
of Tim Tyson in Madison's Isthmus