Friday, February 11, 2022

the last book I ever read (Dawnie Walton's The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, excerpt one)

from The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton:


After this life I’ve led, I know it’s hard to imagine my ass in a church. [Laughs] But listen, church back then could be a different thing—a political thing, a place of organization and action, real philosophy. You had men in Birmingham like the Reverend Shuttlesworth, who gave shelter to the Freedom Riders over at Bethel Baptist, and, yeah, men like my Uncle Bill. Sometimes he would write his sermon on whatever was happening in the news and in the Movement, and those were the services I liked best. It wasn’t just about folks falling out on the floor and writhing, or pastors screaming out nonsense and threats from the pulpit. You had concerned citizens and educated leaders and a good number of them were about that business. To make it so that my pretty Auntie Rose didn’t have to use dirty facilities, you know, or move out the way of anybody coming down the sidewalk. I wanted to be part of that. Baaaaaby, let me tell you, I was a revolutionary at twelve years old! I wanted to join SNCC, CORE, SCLC, all of it! I even started reading Uncle Bill’s copy of Stride Toward Freedom [the first book by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.], until Auntie Rose took it away and told me I needed to just enjoy being a girl.

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