A few weeks ago I finished reading TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD -- and I'm embarrassed to say it was for the first time. I can't remember what prompted me to pick the book up and then buy it, but I did.
After closing the book for the last time I laid in bed staring at the ceiling. Two thoughts competed for top billing:
1. I will never understand the hatred and racism black Americans faced (and face). Never.
2. How bold and courageous of the female author, Harper Lee, must've been to write that book.
I know she was white, which gave her immediate privileges. But she was also a woman, a white woman, writing a book which shined a bright light onto deeply evil thinking and attitudes...and actions. And she didn't hold back. Her beautiful writing read true and honest.
She boldly created the forward thinking character Atticus Finch, who I'm guessing served as an outlet for to share her own thinking...but that's just speculation.
Oh how I would love to have lunch with Ms. Lee. Tell her that we're raising our two boys to respect all human beings regardless of color (or sexual orientation or religious affiliation or any other damn thing) -- that all human beings deserve to be treated with kindness and dignity. Tell her that I admire her bravery...as a woman...as a writer.
Can you imagine?