“As a young man, my father had been shot by a white policeman, but never spoke about the incident after leaving Alabama and moving north. He never even told my mother. He took the story to his grave… Every household is different but in my childhood home the window to that painful past was never widely opened.
Our parents felt we needed to know only so much. No time for tears. No yearning for sympathy. You see, you can’t keep your eye on the prize if your sight is clouded by tears. How can you soar if you’re freighted down by the anger of your ancestors?”
-- Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. xi-xii)
I’ll be honest, I’ve listened to Michele Norris for years on National Public Radio in her capacity as host of All Things Considered without knowing that she was black. After all, I couldn’t see her, and she speaks in a fairly nondescript Standard American English accent which makes it difficult to discern her ethnic roots.