This book is changing my thinking in a good way (take an ‘o’ out of good), showing me a history I have never heard, a hope that seems realistic and necessary, a description of the ways the struggle for the fair treatment of workers, for decency, love of neighbor, has shown up.
The history once again exposes the complicity of my family in the life of my paternal grandfather. I have known for a few decades that he regretted the south lost the Civil War, but now I see how that ‘ol weasel popped his head up in Detroit, making a killing in car radios. I'm sure he was deeply anti-labor. Paradoxically, I loved his mean ways for many years, feeling he was authentic in a world of phonies....Still do love the man, who started going blind in his 30’s, listened to Judy Collins in his dark leathery study, smoked, vacationed in Antigua, and drank hard. He remarried at the age of 78, after my grandmother's drunken fall led to life without parole in a convalescent home. When we arrived at the wedding, we were told, "there's a couple of little black things that will help you with your bags."
I hear Toni Morrison saying “We felt morally superior to those who looked down on us” in her interview with Charlie Rose. I remember a time in my teens, in Stars and Stripes jeans, a floppy hat, long hair, with guitar, so humbled that the taxi was delivering me to Pop’s exclusive estate. So much for my pointless rebellion... The merciful black driver sang to me, “Momma may have; Poppa may have; but God bless the child who’s got his own, who’s got his own.” Chokes me up today. Goodness is everywhere (remember to take out the ‘o.’)