The Out­skirts of Hope: A Mem­oir of the 1960s Deep South

  • From the Publisher
May 19, 2015

1n 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father trans­plant­ed his Jew­ish fam­i­ly from a sub­urb of Boston to an all-black town in the Mis­sis­sip­pi cot­ton fields so that he could become the med­ical direc­tor of a clin­ic meant to serve the poor­est region in the nation. Her moth­er was recruit­ed to teach at the local high school, where she became a beloved and some­times con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure who intro­duced black lit­er­a­ture into the cur­ricu­lum. Ivester builds on jour­nals left by her moth­er to paint an inspir­ing por­trait of her family’s expe­ri­ences and a town deal­ing in a unique way with the racism that still grips our nation today. She describes how her moth­er helped her stu­dents to under­stand that the anti-Semi­tism that flour­ished through­out much of the Deep South was sim­i­lar to the hatred that they faced as black Americans.

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