A poem begins with a lump in your throat ~~ Robert Frost

MEMORY & COMPLICITY

In Eve Hoffman on May 31, 2018 at 3:16 PM

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In Memory & Complicity, we feel skirts of summer dust as Eve Hoffman rides on dirt roads barefoot on a bike or clings to a runaway horse. We walk with her though an exhibit of one hundred and fifty postcards of lynchings. We see a girl in a yellow dress at the synagogue her great-grandparents founded—the synagogue bombed four hours later by white racists. We see black-faced jockeys in front yards. We listen to lullabies written in the Nazi concentration camps played on her mother’s piano—and the realization her mother was pregnant with her as they were being written. We taste sweet-potato pies and feel the wooden pews of churches turning their backs as gay men die. We watch giggling children dive from the top of the refrigerator into their father’s arms. We accompany a widow rebuilding her life, catching fireflies with her grandchildren, dancing with them in the rain.

 

Memory & Complicity available at Amazon.com, Mercer University Press.com, Barnes & Noble.com or evehoffman@bellsouth.net

 

 

Eve Hoffman confronts our moral sensibilities. Being a white, Jewish girl (and then woman) of privilege in the South over the last half century was fraught with contradictions and challenge. Eve reveals not being taught of the 1906 Atlanta race riot, or of her great-grandmother’s involvement in the Georgia Women’s Suffrage movement. She recalls black field hands not being invited to sit at a common table, and of learning the startling truth that lynchings were not the furtive acts of rednecks but public displays of racial power where tickets were sometimes sold. She shares the experience of living on a farm where cows were shot and hung by their legs to be butchered. In her honest, unembellished way, Eve’s unsettling glimpses of her own past are a moral challenge to our to our own willful ignorances and the difficult truths of our own life history.

~ Paul Root Wolpe, Director, Emory University Center for Ethics from Forward to Memory & Complicity

 

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