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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Family: the most important story

    I am generally a private person, but I was moved to write publicly about my mother's battle with thyroid cancer with an essay for  "Behind Mom's dark glasses: A civil rights leader's biggest fight." 
    My mother, civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due, is also the co-author of our 2003 civil rights memoir, Freedom in the Family: a Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights, which I have discussed previously on this blog.
    I often say that Freedom in the Family is the most important book I have ever written.
    While I was growing up, my mother spoke often of her dream to publish the stories of the unknown foot-soldiers she knew, black and white, who sacrificed their freedom, families, sanity--and, in some case, their lives--to try to win the rights we all enjoy today.  Mom never set out to write about herself, but we tried to capture all of their stories in the book.
    While we were interviewing my grandmother, my father (civil rights attorney John Due) and civil rights activists to write Freedom in the Family,  my mother and I often reminded others to sit down and interview family members whether or not a book project was in the works.
       Once those stories are gone, they're gone forever.
       (To hear an NPR "Fresh Air" interview with me and my mother from 2003, click HERE.)
      Never forget that your family is the most important story of all.


Gaythia said...

I made my way here from the CNN article. My interest in that article was piqued by the fact that I am in the middle of reading the book that you and your mother have written, "Freedom in the Family". I am so sorry to hear about your mothers current health fight. But I want both of you to know that, in writing your book, you have done a very valuable thing.

My best wishes to both of you.

Anonymous said...

I just read your story on and my prayers are with your Mom and everyone that loves her. I was particularly saddened by the news of her illness because a signed copy of your book, Freedom in the Family, sits on my office shelf in prominent view each day. Your Mom's story will continue to be an inspiration for me.