WEDNESDAY WAKE UP CALL

My friend Sarah (at Brainfluff )blogs on Wednesdays books she can hardly wait to read. Let me tell you about one I hope to start this weekend, which is a wake up call for readers in the South here in the U.S.A. It is In the Shadow of Statues by Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans. Going in, I do not know where I stand on the removing of statues of Confederate heroes. I fully understand why these men were revered because I grew up in Virginia, “The Mother of Presidents” (The first five presidents of the U.S. were from Virginia.) and never heard The War between the States called The Civil War until I was marred and in college in Texas. Actually, as an elementary student, we had a principal who referred to “the war” as “The War for the Glorious Confederacy.” I didn’t even know “we” lost until eighth grade!

On the other hand, when I had an African American friend (There were only two in a graduation class of 440. Integration was a forced thing and came late to my home city.) , and she lent me her copy of A Raisin in the Sun, I began to understand “what all the fuss was about.” After I had moved to Houston, Texas, when I married, I experienced ethnic diversity for the first time. At church where I volunteered with teenagers, I enjoyed working with youths of many ethnic backgrounds, and when I began teaching in 1967, I no longer noticed what “color” a student was. A student is a student is a student.

As the idea of removing the offensive statues began a few years ago, I began to understand and side with friends who found them just that–offensive (to put it mildly; one friend calls it an “abomination.”) My curiosity and empathy have kicked in recently when this book was selected for our next book club read. Mt Better Half and I took it home from the library last Tuesday, and he has already read it. He was born in North Carolina, raised in Virginia and went to college in Mississippi, mind you. I asked him what he thought of the book and his response was, “It makes you think.” I am looking forward to allowing the book to make me do the same and hope to start it this weekend.

Thanks, Sarah for allowing me to steal your idea and post it today.

HAPPY READING, ALL!

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Author: Rae Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 28th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

10 thoughts on “WEDNESDAY WAKE UP CALL”

  1. I’m delighted that you have joined in the Can’t-Wait Wednesday party in your own individual way, Rae:). Thank you for sharing your particular history and how you came to want to read this book. It is fascinating to hear the backstory and I really appreciate your sharing it with us. And many thanks for the name-check – it’s very kind of you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But I really appreciate your lovely comment about me! And I will graciously accept it – trying to break the ingrained habit of looking pained and brushing off any compliment with a bit of snark, which tends to be the Brit response to any compliment:)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a topic I wondered about when it all came to light. Taking down statues that honored people in the past is a tough issue. This sounds like it would be a very interesting read. Thanks for sharing this one Rae.

    Liked by 1 person

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