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I wish that I had read this book twenty years ago. It has helped me to gain further insight into the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, and how the scars of those days are carried by both Blacks and Whites. We still do not have freedom and wont until we enter into a dialogue that provides an opportunity to share the pain in a healing community. More understanding is needed around concepts like White privilege, Black Lives Matter, law and order, and theological reflection.
Julius Lester's strong emphasis on sexuality throughout the book is his attempt to get to the real truth behind individual motivation combined with real personal skills, such as John Calvin Marshall's eloquence or Robert Card's steadfastness. Lester writes from both female and male viewpoints on what makes one tick, while never straying from the objective facts of the situation, in this case a variation on Martin Luther King's approach to garnering equality for all. Professor Lester strongly places in Marshall's words that discrimination oppresses all and only equality can make individual people free. Focusing on black only or white only denies the fullness of life. In a nutshell, Julius Lester, in his writing, is a classical liberal desiring freedom for all, not rights nor attitudes based on truly irrelevant concerns like skin color and superficial identity. John Calvin Marshall tried to move his people and all people beyond that, but had to deal with his own non-rational impulses.
I happened to pick this up in a used book store without knowing anything about Julius Lester, and was blown away. I'm going to get some other of his books - which seem to be of great variety. This one is full of insight into black-white relationships and the unbelievable viciousness of racial hatred and fear,, and seems to have some considerable knowledge of the various currents in and behind the civil rights movement and history. Plus some lusciously erotic scenes.