Monday, January 19, 2015

Unity Breakfast in Birmingham, Alabama celebrates Martin Luther King,Jr Day

Here's a quote from AL.com about Tanner Colby's (SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE BLACK) keynote speech at this morning's Unity Breakfast.

"People throughout the United States like to celebrate diversity and talk about it a lot, but people tend to use the word "diversity" to deflect rather than engage, Colby said. A better word than diversity and integration is interdependence, he said.
"My family and the Oxmoor families, Vestavia and Birmingham, white America and black America -- we're all in this together, whether we choose to reckon with that fact or not," he said. "And yet, sadly, time and again we choose not to reckon with it."
The white flight that led to the formation of suburbs across America has created an unworkable model for society, Colby said.
"Birmingham, Atlanta, Detroit, Boston, Houston - go look at any of these cities and you will see a jigsaw puzzle of gerrymandered municipalities and school districts, all built to divide us from each other," he said. "These are the new color lines."
Whites fled the troubled inner cities such as Birmingham to create suburbs such as Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Homewood and Hoover. And tragically, black political machines fed off the departure of the white people to gain power and control, even though the departure of white people also meant the departure of much-needed resources, Colby said.
"The chocolate city seemed the fulfillment of that dream, but sadly it was a mirage," Colby said. "Lacking the money and human capital that had fled to the suburbs, our urban centers hollowed out."
But the dream of wonderful tiny kingdoms in the suburbs also was a mirage, he said. It only works for the extremely wealthy cities such as Mountain Brook, he said.
Middle-class suburbs such as Vestavia Hills and Hoover have had to sprawl out, gobbling up new territory in search of revenue to take care of needs, Colby said. White families fled the inner city, and eventually middle-class black families followed, he said.
Building and maintaining the infrastructure to keep up with the sprawl and the quality school systems that suburbanites are seeking takes wealth that even middle-class families don't have, Colby said. Bedroom communities find themselves continually having to sprawl in search of new revenue, he said.
As low-income families migrate to the suburbs as well, the problem grows more acute because they have fewer resources to sustain an unsustainable model, Colby said."Too many towns, too many governments and not enough revenue," he said."

Giveaway winding down

Appropriate since it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day -
There are only a few more days to sign up for a chance to go to Goodreads and sign up to win a free copy of MARCH WITH ME -
historical fiction set during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and told through two protagonists, one black and one white.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

FREE GIVEAWAY!


In honor of Black History Month next month (February) and with the spirit of working for racial reconciliation in our country today, I will be giving away on Goodreads one copy of MARCH WITH ME, the story of two young women, one white and one black, set during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
Go to Goodreads and enter to win.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Moving on from Ferguson

Hey, Everyone, don't lose this opportunity! We need to change our focus! We have the country - and the government's - attention so let's address the real problem - the racial disparity in our country.
You kow how we are, we'll lose interest in the Feguson incident, but we can't lose interest in the fact that we need to address the on-going problems of institutional racism.
We can start talking about - really get in dialogue about - things like resegregation of schools in cities, poverty, discrepencies in income between blacks and whites, why there are statistics about how many more times blacks are arrested and incarcerated than whites, etc.
The important thing is that we need to be working TOGETHER, blacks and whites. We each have such misunderstandings, predetermined views, biases and, yes, prejudices. We EACH have those. It is only by working together that we can learn from each other. It's a win-win situation.
Ferguson created a situation that torre the scab off the festering wound in our country. But, the reality is that Ferguson will soon fade in our memories. It will become to blacks a memory of one more incident of white injustice, and to the whites of just one more incident of blacks protesting and looting. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN!
We need to change things. We CAN change things, but only if we work together and face the situation realistically.
I'm ready. Are you? Look into your community. See what is happening and find ways to make it better.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Important Giveaway!

I'm giving away a copy on Goodreads of the travel memoir, Voice of a Voyage, by Doann Houghton-Alico. If you read only one book this year, it should be Voice of a Voyage. It's the story of a 10 year circumnavigation that the author and her husband did in their 63' sailboat - 41 countries and 43,000 nautical miles. The writing is beautiful, the stories are amazing and informative. Don't miss this beautiful book!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Race relations Discussion




Those who shared their stories as background for "March With Me" met together for dinner & conversation on racial issues today. Wonderful dialogue - why don't YOU gather such a group?


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Civil Rights Movement gets attention!

MARCH WITH ME - set during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s in Birmingham, AL (called "the most racist place in the US" at that time)has been selected as a finalist for the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year in Historical Fiction. Check it out - and give the author, Rosalie Turner, some feedback.