Sunday, March 7, 2021

History of These United States, the month of March since 1950

Selections from the Equal Justice Initiative History of Racial Injustice calendar.  I’ve chosen historical items from after 1950.   The last item (March 28, 1951) is well worth reading the story at the link.

From the month of March

March 3, 1991

Los Angeles police beating of Black motorist Rodney King is caught on tape.

March 7, 1965

Police use tear gas, whips, and clubs to attack supporters of Black voting rights marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; dozens are hospitalized on “Bloody Sunday.”

March 11, 1965

Reverend James Reeb, a white supporter of Black voting rights, dies two days after he is beaten by angry white people in Selma, Alabama.

March 13, 2020

Louisville, Kentucky, police fatally shoot Breonna Taylor, an emergency room technician, in her home while executing a no-knock warrant.

March 16, 1995

Mississippi legislature votes to ratify Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, after having rejected it in 1865.

March 28, 1951

Four white men abduct a 27-year-old Black man, Melvin Womack, from his home in Oakland, Florida, beat him, shoot him, and leave him to die days later from his injuries.

First Lines: February 2021 edition


Below are the first lines of the books I finished reading in February.   February was a long month, filled with handwriting cards to voters, dealing with winter, amassing tax documents, studying covid data, getting candidate petitions signed, note taking at church meetings, and attending political meetings.  I finished three books, of which one was an audio Y.A. book. 



Book 1


Sean Geoghehan; Kimberly Gummer; Kimberly Brewer, Kimberly Brewer’s mother and uncle; Britt-Anne Conover; Jeremy Haskill; two of the younger DiPaolantonio boys;


Book 2

The butler, recognizing her ladyship’s only surviving brother at a glance, as he afterwards informed his less percipient subordinates, favoured Sir Horace with a low bow, and took it upon himself to say that my lady, although not at home to less nearly-connected persons, would be happy to see him.


Book 3

The first Wednesday in every month was a perfectly awful day, a day to be awaited with dread, endured with courage, and forgotten with haste.  Every floor must be spotless, every chair dustless, and every bed without a wrinkle.   Ninety-seven squirming little orphans must be scrubbed and combed and buttoned into freshly starched ginghams, and all 97 reminded of their manners and told to say “Yes, sir,” “No, sir,” whenever a trustee spoke.


The titles and authors revealed:



Book 1

Long Bright River by Liz Moore.  © 2020.  492 pages

This book is excellent on plot and (as far as I can tell) an authentic portrayal of the subject matter.  This book was hard for me to read at first because of the description of a person in addiction and withdrawal. I found the characters and story compelling. The author has that rare quality of creating sympathy in the reader for characters who make agonizingly bad decisions.  There are lots of twists and turns in the plot.  A very good read.  Barack Obama liked it, too.  I read it for book club.



Book 2

The Grand Sophy (Regency Romances Book 10) by Georgette Heyer.  © 1950.  346 pages.

An amusing tale, set in 1816 England.  This was on a list of “light novels to lift your spirits,” a list we still need today.   Before Cousin Sophy comes to visit, all the wrong people are betrothed to each other.  Sophy arrives, with gifts including a live monkey for the children. Nineteenth-century silliness ensues, and in the end all the couples are paired up according to true love.  Horses, with and without carriages, are featured.  A lady must not gallop in Hyde Park.


Book 3

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster © 1912. Audio book, narrated by Julia Whelan (audio produced 2011).  Young Adult lit.

An epistolary coming-of-age story about a teenaged orphan whose college education is sponsored by a mysterious benefactor.  In 1912, age was come upon a few years later in life, at around age 20, than it is today.  This was a predictable yet enjoyable story, although the epistolary format is not my favorite.