my mama's great blog post about the book The Pain and the Promise . I found this book at Half-Price Books one day, browsing through the Civil Rights section looking for Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man.
I SNATCHED it up, because while I never lived in Tallahassee, it and the surrounding area are a big part of me. My mother grew up there, and we went there every summer. In addition, my mom's stories of growing up in that idyllic small-town, deep-South milieu were always fascinating to me. I can't tell you how much time I spent poring over her yearbooks and wishing that I were there, then. Of course, the truth (I am certain!) is that those beautiful girls with the pageboys, those handsome young men in their letter sweaters, having the dates in the malt shop, were every bit as insecure and teenagedly miserable as I was 40 years later!
I read the book, identified many of the names and families, was horrified, and eagerly took it to mom to read, fascinated to know how much if it she would recall. And the answer was: almost none. She had been quite completely protected from it, as the white men running the city intended. She had an entirely different experience of Tallahassee in the 50's and 60's than described in the book.
Enough from me. Go read what she has to say. It's eye opening.