Tuesday, February 23, 2016

James Farmer on the Civil Rights Movement

"The dead will not return, and our martyrs will stay at peace. We survivors have got a second wind, and the young will draw their first.
Martin left us with a dream unrealized and a promise unfulfilled. Our nation deceives itself with the fiction that the task is complete and racism is dead and all is well. The myth surrounds us that America has suddenly become color-blind, and that all that remains is an economic problem.
No greater lie has ever been told, and the tellers of it, if they have eyes to see and minds to think, must know it.
The tired among us must recharge our batteries. The uninitiated must learn to gird their loins. We have not finished the job of making our country whole.”

Friday, February 19, 2016

My Blind Date with a Book

As a single girl trying to forget that Sunday was Valentine’s Day, I was super excited when TCU Press hosted a “Blind Date with a Book” sale.  I knew that if I needed to I could just say “yeah, I have a blind date” when people asked about my un-exciting Valentine’s plans. Part of the thrill of getting a new book is not knowing what’s going to happen in the book, and the event just added to that excitement. And man, it was hard to choose a book! I wanted to take the entire table home with me, but that seemed a little unrealistic.

But it turned out that I was really lucky. I wound up getting the book that I had stared at a dozen times at the Press and had wanted to read. And no, I didn’t cheat and look for this book before it was wrapped up (though I was tempted to). I was good and made sure that I chose a book that would be a surprise.  But the best surprise was that Dearest Virginia just so happened to fit perfectly into our #20books16 challenge! Our TCU Press #20books16 challenge is an awesome list of challenges that range from “a book with a purple cover” to “a book from your home state,” and as a native Texan and a Horned Frog, I could cross that one off of my list. Dearest Virginia, edited by Gayle Hunnicutt, is about her family who lived in the Fort Worth area. The letters in the book are from the 1940s, which I haven’t read about much so I will be getting a new narrative from my “adopted hometown” (though I’ll still always be a Houston girl).  

Now I’m not going to lie and say that I have the book all finished, with my English-major class load I’m already swimming (or drowning) in books. But Dearest Virginia has been a wonderful book to use as a break from my studies. It's a wonderful story composed of letters from a solider home to his wife. I look forward to getting to know the story more and, of course, for my next book challenge on the list!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Story of a Freedmen's Community in Texas

Family members pose with a reaper, used to gather hay in the fields. This is the only known photograph of the original Cheney residence, which burned in 1946.
“As the name suggests, the Garden of Eden was always a fertile place, both in terms of its rich soil that produced bountiful vegetation for decades and in terms of the strong people who occupied the land. . . .
Major and Malinda Cheney, the patriarch and matriarch of the Sanders family.
We had been steeped in the teachings of family, understanding from an early age that there was something special in that clan that had survived and flourished against incredible odds.
Bob Ray Sanders has not only had a significant career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram but also with KERA public television and radio. Bob Ray is shown here at the microphone shortly after KERA-FM went on the air in 1974. Courtesy KERA.
I was patriarch Major Cheney’s great-grandson; Drew was his great-great-grandson, and we knew that we were part of a legacy that was still being built by my father and his. We grew up knowing the stories of how this was a family which, although descendants of a slave, had no fear of white people, and thus was a family in a position to help people of all colors. . . .
A. J. "Drew" Sanders, the author, with a family automobile circa 1955.
This is the story of a family - and a community that grew up around it - whose ancestors shook off the shackles of slavery, refused to be cowed by prejudice and discrimination, and resisted the temptation to hate even those who sometimes hated them.
Drew’s book tells the true tale of a family tree deeply rooted in a garden - The Garden of Eden.”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

20books16 Challenge #1

Surprise, surprise! We decided to kick off our #20books16 Book Challenge with a book with a purple cover, History of Texas Christian University by the inimitable Colby D. Hall. What better way for a Horned Frog to celebrate purple than with a history of our own beloved institution?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016