Words can't express how I feel at the conclusion of a book like this. There are so many emotions that are going through my mind and a million thoughts colliding in my brain as I read this book. You have to be someone without a pulse to not feel something whether it is anger or compassion for a time that I am so grateful doesn't exist today. I'm not going to be naive and say that racism and some sort of segregation doesn't exist today but this definitely opens a dialogue considering the various incidents where people have lost their lives. Coincidentally reading this book, the young man who died, his coffin just got exhibited on display at a museum in DC. This really puts things in perspective, hard to grasp but really puts you in a different place that opens your mind to what if.
There were many moments that I wanted to put this book down. It wasn't because it was bad or it didn't meet my expectations, it took too much of myself and the experiences crippled my consciousness and I was unable to let go of the uncontrollable depth of despair and hopelessness of everything because of the experiences. This book takes you to a place that is difficult but it is a welcomed intrusion on our comfort out of the status quo of existence of our cultural norms today. Told through the meticulous research and interviews, Michael Joseph Miller captures one of the most important events that shaped the civil rights movement thought a book that not only puts you there in that time but give you an insight from a perspective that rarely gets captured.
This book gives you a whole different perspective that fills in the blanks of the history pages that we've been told over the years through education and the curiosity of documentaries and alike. I'm not going to lie, there were moments that made it unbearable to get through because I can't imagine what it would be like to go through this. Having to read the experiences and seeing the photos was tough at moments, but this narrative was real and puts in perspective the reality of an unthinkable existence that once was. The book was enlightening and an inspiration of hope that can be a catalyst for social change and inspire national dialogue in our current social climate. We have come a long way as a nation and thankfully more tolerant and accepting of others than in the past.