Anyone wondering why America is so divided… Anyone wondering why record numbers of Americans voted for and against President Trump in 2020… Anyone determined to move America forward…should turn the pages of American Butterfly. Not for analysis. But for a story.
The story is triggered by a murder, in broad daylight, for no obvious reason. Having lost faith in the redemptive power of American justice, a Southern man begins traversing the trenches of America’s Culture War, searching for possible reasons for his family’s great loss. In an early moment of the story, the man recalls the time when
Mom received a rare call from her mother-in-law. Grandma immediately asked in her quiet voice, “Is Johnny around?”
Grandma had heard a radio announcement. Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated that very morning by a white man in downtown Memphis, our home town.
Terrified, Grandma had also heard the radio announcer speak her son’s name.
Two shootings separated by fifty years bound a journey across time and space from Memphis, to Durham, to Boston and back to Memphis. Through it all there are moments of tragedy and devastation. Also timely revelations about how we just might make it through America’s Culture War together.
No matter our politics, we owe it to our children and ourselves to begin understanding our fellow Americans better. Please read American Butterfly.