This reminds me of a lot of mindsets I’ve heard recently. . . in the past year. To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and takes place in a small town in Alabama. Now, let me know if any of this sounds like something you might have heard in the past few months. Also, apologies if any of the language offends, it is a direct quote from the book.
“Well how to you know we ain’t Negroes?”
“Uncle Jack Finch says we really don’t know. He says as far as he can trace back the FInches we ain’t, but for all he knows we mighta come straight out of Ethiopia durin’ the Old Testament”
“Well if we came out durin’ the Old Testament it’s too long ago to matter.”
“That’s what I thought,” said Jem, “but around here once you have a drop of Negro blood, that makes you all black. . . .”
I urge everyone and anyone to pick up that book and read it. It gives you such a view into a past that many of us never knew or experienced and for those that did, perhaps the book triggers some memories both pleasant and unpleasant. I do not think you need to be on one side of the fence or the other to feel the emotions and stories being told in this book, although reactions will differ across the board.
I remember my mom suggesting I read this book when I was a lot younger. I didn’t pick it up until some point in high school and was blown away with the messages and images it conveyed. We watched the movie in one of my classes and I got a very different vibe than the one from the book. Race, religion and social etiquette play such HUGE rolls in this book, but also growing up and learning how to see the world around you rather than just the next game or glass of lemonade.
Education without realizing what a gift you’ve been given is the strongest message I see throughout the book.