Just Zack is the story of a black man born during the Depression, raised in the deep South, has fearlessly experienced the effects of segregation and Jim Crow but never having been understood or “assimilated” as the sociological term implies to it.
As an adult, I was the first member of my family to have received a college degree. I received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University in San Bernardino, hoping to unlock the mystery of Jim Crow. I did not. I identified with the black national movement of that time.
I was seventy-five when I became a newcomer to Christ and realized my redemption made me just. “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). And it was at this point that I realized my earlier life impacted the man I had been until now—not all bad, not all good, no regrets, no bitterness.
I was just. I was Zack. I learned that my personality was influenced by my childhood, and my past weighed heavily on my future and was the basis of my marriage, which lasted for more than fifty years. This was not because my wife or I were virtuous, but that God had protected both of us from ourselves from the beginning.
Before writing this book, I prayed for God to guide me. God began to flood my mind with things that I had done in both my wife’s and my life, things I could not have known and would not have known had I not become a Christian, studied the scriptures, and learned that God knew us both before our marriage and how our lives would be favored to serve his purpose. God knew us when we were in our mother’s womb.