Three favorites that I’m reading this week: One inspirational interview, one novel, and one parenting book.
Why I Quit the Klan by C. P. Ellis
I’m as inspired by anyone as stories of transformation and conversion, and this week as I was doing some final research for my book, I happened upon this account in American Dreams: Lost & Found of C. P. Ellis’ decision to leave the KKK. I recommended a film that portrays his life called The Best of Enemies a few weeks back. He was interviewed by Studs Turkel, and here’s one quotation from his remarkable story (and also a warning that he uses a pejorative word to refer to Black people throughout this interview):
“I tell people there’s a tremendous possibility in this country to stop wars, the battles, the struggles, the fights between people. People say: ‘That’s an impossible dream. You sound like Martin Luther King.’ An ex-Klansman who sounds like Martin Luther King! I don’t think it’s an impossible dream. It’s happened in my life. It’s happened in other people’s lives in America.”
He talks about learning how to hate, and how that hatred alongside a need to belong prompted his participation in the Klan. But he also writes about love, and about his love for his son who was born with significant physical and intellectual disabilities. I don’t know enough of his story to say for sure, but I look in and wonder how much loving his son opened him up to the possibility that he could love other people too.
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
I’m also reading Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, which I’m totally enjoying. A peek at church life in the midwest in the 1970s.
The 6 Needs of Every Child by Amy Elizabeth Olrick & Jeffrey Olrick, Ph.D.
And, I’m rereading The 6 Needs of Every Child, which I recommend for every parent!
What are you reading?!?
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