Today is the birthday of Martin Luther King and in honor of his birthday,
our book club invited author Jonathan O'Dell to speak to us and share his
experiences of growing up in Mississippi in the 50's and 60's.
First we read his book, The View from Delphi, based somewhat on his early life.
The book is set in a small early pre-civil rights community.
It tells the story of two young mothers Hazel and Vida, who find a common ground
because they have both lost a son.
Hazel's husband hires Vida to be a housekeeper and caretaker to his wife and to watch over their young son Johnny.
They start as adversaries, but soon Hazel and Vida discover a friendship that grows through out the story.
When Jonathan spoke to us, it wasn't long before we all realized this was the story of his family and he was
the character Johnny, from the book.
He told us when his mother comes to some of his lectures she will raise her hand and tell the people there, she didn't do everything Hazel did in the book.
But Jonathan said "she did most of it," he just changed some of the events.
He is now a resident in Minnesota, and here he sees a different type of racism.
One that many Northerners don't want to admit they feel.
Spending my morning listening to Jonathan , made this a special way to remember Martin Luther King.
It was a sad day when he died, and followed shortly by the tragic death of Robert Kennedy.
I have always wondered what this world would have been like if those two men were still here.