Black & White & Red All Overby Martha McNeil Hamilton, Warren Brown
Both Warren and Martha were "affirmative action hires" at The Washington Post in the early 1970s and/i>
Warren Brown grew up in segregated New Orleans-black, Catholic, middle class. Martha McNeil was from segregated white and blue-collar Houston. It was the 1960s and integration was becoming the law of the land, but it wasn't the reality for either of them.
Both Warren and Martha were "affirmative action hires" at The Washington Post in the early 1970s and worked together for more than twenty years, sharing the ups and downs of life, becoming friends. Then Warren became sick with kidney disease. A kidney donated to him by his wife failed. He was on the verge of death when Martha, informed she was also a blood type match, donated a kidney to her friend.
Warren and Martha chronicled their experiences surrounding the surgery in a series of articles written for the Post. To them, it was a simple story of friendship, a successful operation, and a happy ending. But in the extraordinary outpouring of favorable reaction to their story, especially among blacks, they discovered that it was something more: it was a success story about integration.
Now, in a new book, the friends tell the whole story: of their childhoods in the segregated South, of their meeting and deepening friendship, of Warren's brush with death and Martha's decision to help save his life. Intimate, poignant, and laced with humor, Black & White & Red All Over chronicles the miraculous intersection of two lives that, but for the changes in American society of the last half-century, would never have occurred.
About the Author:
Martha McNeil Hamilton is a financial news reporter for The Washington Post. She lives in Washington, D.C. Warren Brown is the automotive columnist for The Washington Post and www.washingtonpost.com, the news-paper's online news service. His "On Wheels" column is carried in 167 newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free Press, and New York Post. Brown lives and works with his wife, Mary Anne Reed-Brown, in Arlington, Va.
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- 5.32(w) x 7.56(h) x 1.06(d)
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Black and White and Red All Over, by Martha Hamilton and Warren Brown, two Washington Post veterans, is a rare and special read. The story, told in alternating voices, tells the story of two journalists, brought to the Washington Post through its affirmative action policies, who over time developed an intense and enduring friendship....one that eventually would result in one friend extending the life of the other in a life saving kidney transplant. There is something for everyone in this short, accessible memoir, whether you're interested in memoir generally, need comfort prior to an organ transplant, are thinking about donating an organ to someone, or are simply interested in race relations and social progress in the United States. The memoir provides evidence of the virtue of integration. Warren's life might have been cut short were it not for the fact that he lived in a time where it was acceptable for a white woman to donate an organ to a black man. His life might have been cut short were it not for a beautiful friendship which lacked the prejudice and hatred that otherwise might have marked such a relationship thirty years ago. The memoir is a celebration of love and hope and all that is right with this world. I highly recommend it, for its inspiring, heartfelt story, the terrific compelling, often humourous writing and for the rare opportunity to really truly understand friendship and love in all of its dimensions. This is a great one for the holidays.