Sunday, May 18, 2008

Our Amazing Grace

I recently finished reading Roots, by Alex Haley. What an accomplishment! I am so proud to have finally read this book!

I have always wanted to read Roots, and felt it was my duty to do so. I even have a beautiful and personally autographed hardbound copy, which I lost for about ten years and miraculously found again very recently.

As a white kid, and having gone to school in the deep south, I have experienced racism and bigotry first hand. Of course, I studied the history of the South and the Civil War in school, but learning about this history in the classroom doesn't really make the story come alive. Roots did that in a way that no other book had done.

The problem for me was that it's such a big book! I would always get started, but eventually lose interest or fall asleep. Finally, I found an audiobook format narrated by Avery Brooks. Compatible with my long commute, I was finally able to make it through the entire volume. And what an incredible tale! This book should be a must-read for every single American high school student today.

Along a similar vein, there is a YouTube video has been making the rounds on the Internet. In it, Wintley Phipps, a gifted preacher, philanthropist and powerful baritone, discusses the origins of the popular spiritual Amazing Grace. If you haven't seen this meme already, it's powerful stuff:

2 comments:

Mom said...

What a powerful, beautiful video! It's shame that Obama didn't choose to associate himself with a spiritual mentor & leader like Whintly Phipps instead of "the rev. wright".

It's easy to see why he has been so success helping the children of prisoners. He is such a charismatic leader.

Now you understand why I bought the book ROOTS for you when you were in HS in MS. I felt there was a great lesson in it for everyone! We were lucky enough to see the entire series on TV. I'm glad that you found the audio version. I hope you will share the messages with the boys some day.

Scott said...

Re: Obama. Of course, Obama has totally disowned the media-crazy Rev. Wright. We are not responsible for those who lead us in our churches. You know that just growing up Catholic. Remember some of the BS we used to hear from our priests?

But back to Roots: It's an incredible book. I definitely intend to have the boys experience it.

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