Keeping it Real...
Welcome! No matter how you found this, God knew you'd be here today. May you absorb the message He has for you. In 2011 I shared through my writing, today I've learned there is more to me than just writing. I have the energy and passion to share with others. Sometimes through Facebook live and others with my blog and most importantly, I've learned my passion to cook and bake is a vessel to share my writing and live presentations, while glorifying God in the process. I just needed to let go, and follow His lead.
Lillian Creekmore grows up at her family's popular rural spa. She successfully runs an entire hotel, yet longs for a husband. Then she meets Will Hughes.
Velma Vernon accepts life on a small, struggling farm until a boy she barely tolerates proposes marriage. To accept means duplicating her parents' hard life. Alone, she leaves for the city and triumphs, not as a wife, but by being the best at her job. Velma is content until the most beautiful man she has ever seen walks into her office.
This moving and darkly humorous novel follows the intertwined lives of women willing to surrender everything to a man.
Purchase a copy of In Common by visiting Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Bookshop.org. Make sure you also add In Common to your Goodreads reading list.
Raised in the South during the civil rights struggles, Norma Watkins is the author of In Common and two memoirs: The Last Resort, Taking the Mississippi Cure (2011), which won a gold medal for best nonfiction published in the South by an independent press; and That Woman from Mississippi (2017).
She lives in northern California with her woodworker husband and three cats.
You can find her online by visiting her website or reading her blog.
Civil Rights and Wrongs: Growing Up in the South During Jim Crow by Norma Watkins
“This is our way of life.” That’s the answer I got as a child if I questioned the separation of the
races. Why can’t my nurse Marie kiss me? Why can’t our cook Annie sit with us and eat? Why
do Black people (who were never called “Black” back then—they were “colored”) only get to be
maids and yard men? “This is our way of life” was meant to shut me up. You were not to
question; you were to accept. This was part of the glorious and tragic history of the South.
For years, I’m ashamed to admit, I accepted this without question. At the summer spa
my family owned, a dozen poor paid Black servants kept the white guests happy. When the
place closed for the winter, they were sent home without pay, and nobody seem to worry how
they managed to live during those cold months. No more than I thought to question where
their children went to school or how they used the bathroom during working hours.
The blissful, blind savagery of Jim Crow successfully replaced slavery for a hundred
years. My eyes opened on May 17, 1954, when the Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of
Education, ruled that segregated schools were not equal and would no longer be allowed under
law. My father, who was our governor’s personal attorney, and fought vigorously for our way
of life, listened to the radio (We were together in the car, on our way home—him from his law
office, me from a summer internship at the Chancery Clerk’s office). “What do you think of
that?” he asked when the news concluded.
I sat beside him filled with amazement, as if the skies had parted to show me the truth.
“I think it’s wonderful,” I said. “In a hundred years, we’ll all have caramel-colored skin and no
pimples.” He stared as if he had given birth to a serpent. “I can’t believe a child of mine would
ever say that.”
I realized the truth of the song I played over and over from the musical “South Pacific.”
You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear--
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade--
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate--
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
I had been carefully taught, but now I was awake to the truth and I couldn’t unthink it. I even
had a plan: children weren’t born prejudiced, so we would start integrating the schools with
kindergarten, and do a grade each year. By the time kids got through high school, they would no
longer be prejudiced.
We all know how that turned out. My father and I fought for years at the dinner table. He
said I was naïve, that I would grow up and “see how things really were.” He said I must be a
Communist. It’s tough arguing with a lawyer and I left a lot of those meals in tears. “And you’ll
never be a lawyer,” he’d call after me. “Judges don’t like crying women.”
I would like to tell you I fought bravely during the terrible civil rights years in
Mississippi, when people were beaten and murdered for daring to speak to a white woman or
trying to vote. But I didn’t. I was only brave in words and life during those times was terrifying
if you dared to be different. Instead of standing my ground and fighting for what I believed, I
ran, looking for a place where I could think freely, speak openly, and breathe without fear.
In my books, I’m still arguing with my father.
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323
All 2017 Goals A Mother's Monday Cooking With Lisa Delta Lake Fitness Friday Guest Blogger One-Thousand Gifts Ride For Missing Children Sewing And Crocheting Speaking Thankful Thursday The River's End Bookstore Tops Tuesday Writers Wednesday
Available on Amazon.com
Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey *
When the Waves Subside: There is Hope *
Encourage Others: One Day at a Time
No More Pain: I Can Fly *
YOU are a Rainbow *
Goal Setting for a Renewed You
*Also available on Kindle*
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