In 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father transplanted his young family from a suburb of Boston to a small town in the heart of the Mississippi cotton fields, where he became the medical director of a clinic that served the poor population for miles around. But ultimately it was not Ivester’s father but her mother—a stay-at-home mother of four who became a high school English teacher when the family moved to the South—who made the most enduring mark on the town.
In The Outskirts of Hope, Ivester uses journals left by her mother, as well as writings of her own, to paint a vivid, moving, and inspiring portrait of her family’s experiences living and working in an all-black town during the height of the civil rights movement.
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The Outskirts of Hope
Although, I didn't live in the south during my elementary years of school, I lived in a very small coal mining town in central Pa. I could identify with Jo and what was taking place in her life. I too was a tomboy and always wanted to do things that the boys were doing; the one big difference was there were no black boys in my town. I was friends with a lot of them and they allowed me to join in their football, basketball and other games. I might say I was as good, if not ,better than most of them. I don't think I would have been very excited about leaving my "small town" and moving to the south
the Outskirts of Hope
I literally could not put this book down. As a child of the 1960's small town South, I was reared with the typical racial prejudices of that era, though I never bought into those attitudes. It was so gratifying to read this real life, personal account of how the love, caring, and strength of conviction of the Kruger family gently made differences in racial attitudes in Mound Bayou, MS. It is refreshing to read such an honest portrayal of actual happenings, without the divisive exaggerations that so often mar fictional accounts of the racially charged South of that time period. Thank you, Jo Ivester, for sharing your family's story!