In the midst of racial strife, one young man showed courage and empathy. It took forty years for the others to join him
Being a student at Americus High School was the worst experience of Greg Wittkamper's life. Greg came from a nearby Christian commune, Koinonia, whose members devoutly and publicly supported racial equality. When he refused to insult and attack his school's first black students in 1964, Greg was mistreated as badly as they were: harassed and bullied and beaten. In the summer after his senior year, as racial strife in Americusand the nationreached its peak, Greg left Georgia.
Forty-one years later, a dozen former classmates wrote letters to Greg, asking his forgiveness and inviting him to return for a class reunion. Their words opened a vein of painful memory and unresolved emotion, and set him on a journey that would prove healing and saddening.
The Class of '65 is more than a heartbreaking story from the segregated South. It is also about four of Greg's classmatesDavid Morgan, Joseph Logan, Deanie Dudley, and Celia Harveywho came to reconsider the attitudes they grew up with. How did they change? Why, half a lifetime later, did reaching out to the most despised boy in school matter to them? This noble book reminds us that while ordinary people may acquiesce to oppression, we all have the capacity to alter our outlook and redeem ourselves.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Jim Auchmutey spent twenty-nine years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor, twice winning the Cox Newspaper chain's writer of the year award. He first visited Koinonia Farm in 1980 and has written extensively about the commune, the South, race relations, religion, and history. He lives in Georgia.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Koinonia
Chapter 1 Farming for Jesus 9
Chapter 2 "We Made Our Reality" 23
Chapter 3 Terror in the Night 35
Part 2 Americus
Chapter 4 The Children's Hour 59
Chapter 5 Welcome to the Revolution 74
Chapter 6 "Not in My Town" 87
Part 3 Senior Year
Chapter 7 Among Panthers 101
Chapter 8 Still Standing 114
Chapter 9 A Lesson Before Leaving 121
Part 4 Continuing Education
Chapter 10 The Next Selma 139
Chapter 11 Breaking Away 152
Chapter 12 Growing Up 167
Part 5 Reunion
Chapter 13 Almost Heaven 183
Chapter 14 Guilt and Grace 196
Chapter 15 Back to Americus 207
Selected Bibliography 245
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A wonderful, thought-proving book. It should be required reading at every high school in America.