Noth­ing Like Sun­shine: A Sto­ry in the After­math of the MLK Assassination

  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
On the day after the Rev. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. was assas­si­nat­ed in April 1968, Cincin­nati high school stu­dent Ben Kamin saw his friend­ship with Clifton Fleet­wood sev­ered by the ten­sions and chaos of the day. Over the years, the loss of his African-Amer­i­can friend gnawed at Kamin, who became a Reform rab­bi and an accom­plished advo­cate of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism. This slen­der vol­ume recounts his efforts to recon­nect with his friend and sort out the racial bag­gage from the 1960’s, and its lin­ger­ing effects today.

Kamin is an inter­est­ing thinker, and his writ­ing is earnest and well-meant. There’s no doubt that racial divi­sions weigh deeply upon him, par­tic­u­lar­ly those based on fear and igno­rance. That said, it’s a shame that the nar­ra­tive that binds the book togeth­er feels so slight. Ulti­mate­ly, the book is not as mov­ing or com­pelling as it hopes to be. Bibliography.
David Cohen is a senior edi­tor at Politi­co. He has been in the jour­nal­ism busi­ness since 1985 and wrote the book Rugged and Endur­ing: The Eagles, The Browns and 5 Years of Foot­ball. He resides in Rockville, MD.; his wife, Deb­o­rah Bod­in Cohen, writes Jew­ish children’s books.

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