The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South

The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South

by Jo Ivester


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The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South by Jo Ivester

In 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father transplanted his young family from a suburb of Boston to a small town in the heart of the Mississippi cotton fields, where he became the medical director of a clinic that served the poor population for miles around. But ultimately it was not Ivester’s father but her mother—a stay-at-home mother of four who became a high school English teacher when the family moved to the South—who made the most enduring mark on the town.

In The Outskirts of Hope , Ivester uses journals left by her mother, as well as writings of her own, to paint a vivid, moving, and inspiring portrait of her family’s experiences living and working in an all-black town during the height of the civil rights movement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631529641
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jo Ivester spent two years of her childhood living in a trailer in Mound Bayou, where she was the only white student at her junior high. She finished high school in Florida before attending Reed, MIT, and Stanford in preparation for a career in transportation and manufacturing. Following the birth of her fourth child, she became a teacher. She and her husband teach each January at MIT and travel extensively, splitting their time between Texas, Colorado, and Singapore.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 The Outskirts of Hope 3

2 Mound Bayou 11

3 Living with Don Quixote 27

4 The Land of Cotton 41

5 Inspired to Teach 63

6 If Not Us, Who? 91

7 If Not Now, When? 103

8 We Shall Overcome 115

9 Guess Who's Going To College? 131

10 Dreaming the Impossible 147

11 Leave the Books 179

12 Back to Mound Bayou 211

Epilogue 237

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The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
AmberK1120 More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. I’ve been trying to write this review for two days and still don’t know how to put my reaction into words. I also don’t know what exactly I’d been expecting when I opened the cover, but I do know that I got a lot more from this book than I could’ve anticipated. There’s a lot of emotion and passion in the words and actions on these pages. Aura didn’t know what to expect from the all-black community of Mound Bayou, but she found her stride in the classroom there. Her passion for educating the students and empowering them to become successful citizens oozes from the pages. And then there’s Jo. Hearing her childhood memories intermingled with her mother’s journal entries really added a dimension to the story that helped to round it out. And there’s an incident that happens to Jo that ultimately leads to the Kruger family’s hasty move to Miami. It’s a traumatic incident, as you may have surmised. What stands out to me the most about this incident is that it did not stop Jo from going back to Mound Bayou as an adult, reconnecting with the people from her past, putting these words to the page, and becoming an advocate for others. This stands out to me because I think this book and these words are important for everyone to hear.