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

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Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
She Writes Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.4 X 0.7 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author
Jo Ivester spent two years of her childhood living in a trailer in Mound Bayou, where she was the only white student at her junior high. She finished high school in Florida before attending Reed, MIT, and Stanford in preparation for a career in transportation and manufacturing. Following the birth of her fourth child, she became a teacher. She and her husband teach each January at MIT and travel extensively, splitting their time between Texas, Colorado, and Singapore.
"What makes this book particularly valuable is its vivid depiction of the abhorrent consequences of legalized segregation. What gives it heart is the window it opens to the personal journeys of mother and daughter. An important, riveting history lesson that, unfortunately, is still relevant today."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A sensitive and powerful memoir of racial change in the South in the 1960s."

"The Outskirts of Hope is a yesteryear tale (1967) that could not be more pertinent and helpful to the racially complex and perturbed time we are living in now."
--Norman Lear

"A powerful personal perspective of a tumultuous time in America, seen through the eyes of a mother and her daughter navigating family and societal currents in the midst of the civil rights movement. White and Jewish from Boston, the family is transplanted into the segregated Deep South of the 1960s, trying to make a difference in people's lives. Although their new world is fraught with fear and anxiety, their strength of character and dedication to being allies rather than bystanders results in their participation in history."
--Barry Curtiss-Lusher, National Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League

"Not all stories about the south are fictional and have characters in them named Atticus and Scout. Some are true and have real people in them named Aura and Jo. But just as Atticus and Scout have seared themselves into our cultural consciousness, Aura and Jo will take up residence in your own after reading The Outskirts of Hope. I began this book thinking it was about civil rights and Mississippi and a Jewish family's singular, brave saga there in the 1960s. I ended it realizing it is a story about us all. It is an American one. And it is one, told forgivingly, about forgiveness."
--Kevin Sessums, author of Mississippi Sissy and I Left It on the Mountain

"The Outskirts of Hope is a highly personal narrative that shines a light on the struggles within the Deep South in a passionate, moving way. Told with wit, warmth, and heart, this family's story places the reader right on the ground as Mound Bayou, Mississippi copes with a world reluctant to change, providing an intimate view of the Civil Rights Movement most have never even considered."
--Anthony Rudel, author of Hello, Everybody!: The Dawn of American Radio

"The Outskirts of Hope is a courageous confession of a daughter about her mother and herself that lays bare the front line of the American civil rights struggle of the 1960s."
--Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, Texas

"In the sixties, a lot of people talked the talk about civil rights. The Kruger family lived the life. This sensitive but no-holds-barred account of their life in Mound Bayou, Mississippi is one of the most gripping real-life stories of confronting and dealing with racism ever written. Warning - once you start reading The Outskirts of Hope, you won't be able to stop."
--Forrest Preece, Columnist, West Austin News

"An unflinching memoir of the hopes, triumphs, and disappointments of a white family that moves to a black community in one of the most segregated areas of the American South in the late 1960s. This engaging book offers a rare and moving narrative of the power of seemingly modest personal activities in delivering the durable social changes promised by laws and policy."
--Bob Flanagan, Emeritus Professor, Stanford University

"This is a fascinating tale of a family who talked the talk and walked the walk during the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The family with their youngest three children left a middle class New England suburb and moved to an essentially all black community in the Mississippi Delta, where the father opened a medical clinic and the mother taught in an all black school and the kids survived, albeit dramatically at times." --Dave Richards, former Civil Rights Commissioner

"This is the fearless mother-daughter memoir about a white family's move from Boston to a small black town in the Mississippi Delta to help launch the nation's first community health center providing health care to the poor and neediest. The leaders of the civil rights struggle--black and white, male and female--are famous, but we hear much less about the 'ordinary people' in the families that came with them. Aura Kruger and Jo Ivester's journey across the chasms of race and poverty also, profoundly, changed their lives. It may well do the same for readers of their story."
--H. Jack Geiger, MD, founding director of the Delta Health Center and Arthur Logan Professor Emeritus of Community Medicine, City University of New York Medical School

"Ivester's Jewish-Bostonian family took a chance on the importance of being human at a time when life was minimized based on the color of a person's skin. Ivester captures the essence of the resulting journey through the dual eyes of a child and her mother as they learn the impact of just saying yes."
--Gigi Edwards Bryant, Trustee, Austin Community College District