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Killers of the Dream Paperback – July 17, 1994
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From the Back Cover
A southern white writer, educator, and activist, Lillian Smith (1897-1966) spoke out all her life against injustice. In the Killers of the Dream (1949), her most influential book, she draws on memories of her childhood to describe the psychological and moral cost of the powerful, contradictory rules about sin, sex, and segregation-the intricate system of taboos-that undergirded Southern society.
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Part One, "The Dreamers" chronicles Ms. Smith's life, as well as what she observed of the South as a Southerner herself.
Part Two, "The White Man's Burden," Ms. Smith explains how segregation shuts out not only blacks, but also whites.
Part Three, "Giants of the Earth," discusses how the powers to be, men in politics and business leaders, created the current situtation of segregation in the South and the reasons they wish to maintain the status quo.
Part Four, "The Dream and Its Killers," explores how the very future of humanity, "the Dream," depends on a willingness to embrace positive change and challenge those aspects of the status quo that aim to keep that from happening.
Book arrived on time, I would read again.
How wonderful it would have been to have a mentor such as Ms. Smith during the difficult days of the Civil Rights Movement! Many of us (women in Memphis)came together to do what we could to support the leaders, few as they were, in our churches and synagogues who actively supported the Movement - but it was extremely difficult. The Voice of Lillian Smith would have been a great help to us all.
Nonetheless, reading her at this point in my life is pure gift.