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HERE'S What Tom Says About THAT
It was fifty years ago today, June 12, 1963, that an assassin’s bullet took the life of Medgar Evers in the driveway of the home he shared with his wife, Myrlie Evers, and their three children in Jackson, Mississippi.
I strongly encourage my readers and friends to take a few minutes to watch this powerful interview with Myrlie Evers recorded last week in Washington, D.C. What she and her children suffered and have endured over the years is unimaginable to most white people in the United States. I continue to hope that more white people will learn from the life examples – of tirelessly working for justice, equality, and peace with determination and grace – set by Medgar and Myrlie Evers. To do so will move our nation a long way toward the healing we desperately need.
One of the blessings of my life is to have become friends with Myrlie Evers over the past fifteen years; to have benefited from the wisdom she has shared with me during my own journey of learning about, acknowledging, and healing from the legacy of slavery and racism. I think of Mr. and Mrs. Evers and their family today with deep respect and gratitude, and with love.
When I fantasize about international acclaim, I think about my books being published in the countries included within their pages (in the case of my first two books, Ghana, Cuba, and Tobago), as well as many other countries and languages. I haven’t achieved that level of success with my writing… yet. But I did get interviewed by a Norwegian newspaper, Vårt Land, last month. It’s a start…
If you understand Norwegian, you can read the article here: Vart Land Interview (Norwegian Newspaper, 10 May 13)
The reporter, Ingrid Hovda Storaas, contacted me through my publicist at Beacon Press. She wrote that she was working on a story on “inherited responsibility” for a Norwegian daily print Newspaper. They had recently “published a story on German youths working voluntarily in Norway as a way to ‘pay’ for the fact that their forefathers participated in the German occupation of Norway. A 20-year old boy was asked if he feels he is atoning for his grandfather’s sin (he was a soldier), and put it like this: ‘In a way. I have not inherited his guilt, but I feel I have inherited a responsibility.’” They were now doing a follow-up story with a more global view and had come across Inheriting the Trade in her research.
I agreed to respond to her questions via email. I was particularly interested in this opportunity because my great grandfather, Ole Nicholson, was born in Norway in January 1853. He came with his parents to the United States when he was 4 years old. His wife, Martha Ryen, was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants as well. They lived in Illinois and Iowa. Their daughter, my grandmother, Lida Nicholson married my grandfather, Giles DeWolf around 1915. Consequently, I have very fond feelings for Norway and hope to visit someday. Read the rest of this entry »