Black workers still face hostility in Forsyth County

Above: Klan rally at Forsyth County courthouse in 1992 Today is the anniversary of Hosea Williams’ massive civil rights march on Forsyth County. Coincidentally, a technician came to my north Atlanta house yesterday to work on my Internet service. During the course of our conversation, he said he’d been working recently in Forsyth County. Since he was black, I asked him, “How’d that go?” He gave me a wry smile and said, “It was different.” You see, when I tell white folks I wrote a book about Forsyth County, many of them say, “What’s interesting about Forsyth County?” When I tell black people, I get a different reaction–a wary look. An eyeroll. A muttered comment along the lines of, “I’m not going up…

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5-Star Review of Brambleman: Neil Gaiman meets Flannery O’Connor

Here’ s a review of Brambleman by G.D. Brennan, a Chicago author who gives it five stars.  I’m flattered, of course, and I’m especially gratified when a reader gets out of the book what I was  certain I put into it.  Brennan’s observation echoes my feelings. When I was pitching the book, I said, “Imagine Neil Gaiman and Joseph Heller collaborating on To KIll a Mockingbird.” Close enough, G.D. To see the original review, click here.   G.D. Brenna writes: Imagine Neil Gaiman and Flannery O’Connor collaborating on a story about the legacy of a true-life ethnic cleansing in rural Georgia. Better yet, imagine that story being told by someone with both of those authors’ greatest skills–Gaiman’s deft and believable blending of…

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MLK Day in Georgia 1987: Hosea Williams marches on Forsyth County

Some of the 25,000 who came for the second march on Jan. 24, 1987 From The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia, by Donald L. Grant and Jonathan Grant (2001, University of Georgia Press)  (Copyright Mildred B. Grant. All Rights reserved): The most startling event during the 1987 King holiday celebration grew out of a “march for brotherhood” at the Forsyth County seat of Cumming on January 17, when a small group of marchers led by Hosea Williams was attacked.  Forsyth, just north of Fulton County, was home to thirty-eight thousand people, all of them white.  It had a reputation as a racist enclave ever since whites had driven out virtually all the county’s eleven hundred blacks…

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Answering a musical question about Brambleman

Here’s a one-question interview by Susan Helene Gottfried for her blog at West of Mars (which sounds like the setting for my first three novels). Thanks, Susan. What song makes you think of your book? Answer: “One of Us” written by Eric Bazilian, performed by Joan Osborne, inspired me to write Brambleman the way I did. In other words, it actually made me think of the book. (And they are listed in the Acknowledgments.) Brambleman’s theology is based on the song. Supernatural beings rely on public transportation, and buses are vehicles of both salvation and terrible, sometimes random justice.  The book attempts to answer the musical question: “What if God was one of us Just a slob like one of us Just…

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