Read this book and weep if you consider yourself a progressive Oregonian today. Nokes exposes Oregon's dark side in history; one not found in currentRead this book and weep if you consider yourself a progressive Oregonian today. Nokes exposes Oregon's dark side in history; one not found in current textbooks. Oregon did join the Union as a free state, but it was the only free state admitted with an exclusion clause in its constitution that forbade emigration of African Americans to the state.
Racism continued even after slaves became legally free following the Civil War. The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery and the 14th Amendment extending citizenship and equal protection put an end to Oregon's exclusion law, but the law remained in Oregon's constitution.
In 1868, Oregon's ratification of the 14th Amendment was withdrawn and a senator from Lane County argued that granting citizenship would "place the inferior races upon an equality with the superior." The 14th Amendment was not re-ratified until 1973.
The 15th Amendment giving African Americans the right to vote was not approved until 1959, ninety years after it was issued to the states for ratification.
This book sheds much light on Oregon's troubled racist history through the lives and stories of a variety of African Americans as well as historical facts. Oregon history taught in our schools is not complete without including this troubling racist history we would like to deny. We need to acknowledge the past if we are to break the last chains of racism.
"In the second half of life, people have less power to infatuate you, but they also have much less power to control you or hurt you. It is the freedom"In the second half of life, people have less power to infatuate you, but they also have much less power to control you or hurt you. It is the freedom of the second half NOT to need." -157-158
"God knows that all of us will fall somehow. Those events that lead us to "catastrophize" out of all proportion must be business as usual for God--at least six billion times a day. Like good spiritual directors do, God must say after each failure of ours, "Oh, here is a great opportunity! Let's see how we can work with this!" After our ego-inflating successes, God surely says, "Well, nothing new or good is going to happen here!"Failure and suffering are the great equalizers and levelers among humans. Success is just the opposite." -158...more
I love historical fiction. But not this book. It wavers between a one & a two for my rating. But since there was enough to make me curious how itI love historical fiction. But not this book. It wavers between a one & a two for my rating. But since there was enough to make me curious how it all turned out, I'll grant a two....more
"All these years I thought a piece of my life was missing. But it was there all along....It has been everywhere, my happiness--when my mother sang for"All these years I thought a piece of my life was missing. But it was there all along....It has been everywhere, my happiness--when my mother sang for me to dance, when my father took my hand to keep me safe--but it was such a small, plain thing that I mistook it for something ordinary and failed to see. we expect our happiness to come with a sign and bells, but it doesn't. I loved you and you didn't know. I loved you and that was enough."-p, 353
"This is the conclusion I have come to: if we work at it, it is always possible to find a rational explanation for what we don't understand. But perhaps it is wiser once in a while to accept that we don't understand, and stop there. To explain is sometimes to diminish. And what does it matter if I believe one thing and you believe another? We share the same end."-362
" Your work becomes your personal life. You are not much good until it does. It's like being woven into a big web. You can't pull away, because all yo" Your work becomes your personal life. You are not much good until it does. It's like being woven into a big web. You can't pull away, because all your little tendrils are woven into the picture. It takes you up, and uses you, and spins you out; and that is your life. Not much else can happen to you."- 546
"...the sunlight was so intense that it seemed to quiver in little flames on the glittering sandbars, the scrub willows, and the curling, fretted shallows."-246
"But when the sun rose in the morning, she was far awaya. It was all behind her, and she knew that she would never cry like that again. People live through such pain only once; pain comes again, but it finds a rougher surface."-310...more
"She could see it surprised him, too, sometimes. He told her once when there was a storm a bird had flown into the house. He’d never seen one like it."She could see it surprised him, too, sometimes. He told her once when there was a storm a bird had flown into the house. He’d never seen one like it. The wind must have carried it in from some far-off place. He opened all the doors and windows, but it was so desperate to escape that for a while it couldn’t find a way out. “It left a blessing in the house,” he said. “The wildness of it. Bringing the wind inside.”
"That's how it is. Lila had borne a child into a world where a wind could rise that would take him from her arms as if there were no strength in them at all. Pity us,yes, but we are brave, she thought, and wild, more life in us than we can bear, the fire unfolding itself in us. That peace could only be amazement, too."
"You don't get to a place by constantly moving, even if your journey is only one of sitting still and waiting. Every once in a while you have to stop in your tracks and admire the view, a small clowd and a tree outside your window. You have to see what you did not see before. And then you have to sleep."- 118
"Sometimes you can love something not because you instinctively connect with it but because another person does, and keeeping their things in your heart takes you backk to them." -152
"The sky anbd the sun are always there. It's the clouds that come and go. Stop holding on to yourself, and look at the world around you." -178
"Things don't so much end as disappear. They don't so much begin as turn up. You think there will be a time to say goodbye, but people have often gone before you know aobut it. And I don't just mean the dying."-313
"...if we work at it, it is always possible to find a rational explation for what we don't understand. But perhaps it is wiser once in a while to accept that we don't understand, and stop there. To explain is sometimes to diminish. And what does it matter if I believe one thing and you believe another? We share the same end."-362
Thoroughly enjoyed this third Gilead perspective. Now I may need to go back and reread "Gilead"!
This book is a must read for every Christian or any person interested in authentic Christianity. It revisits the question of what it means to follow JThis book is a must read for every Christian or any person interested in authentic Christianity. It revisits the question of what it means to follow Jesus. It may make you question if most of what we call "Christian" is what Jesus lived and taught. It may make you wonder if we have lost our way.
In a culture immersed in materialism, militarism, and self interest, the author points to the way Christ taught as the alternative that could "save" our world. The author takes on a wide variety of topics and concludes with the chapter, "Jesus' 'I have a Dream' Speech".
A few quotes to remember: "I believe our need for absolute truths should be replaced by faith in a God who can be absolutely trusted because only God has absolute truth, whereas we often 'see through a glass darkly, and we know only in part"... p. 24
"At any point that the Law didn't fit Jesus' understanding of love for God and neighbor, Jesus restated the Law, saying, 'But I say...'"-p.25
"...we are freed to follow the seemingly risky way of letting go to share freely, forgive constantly, and love indiscriminately--not as a set of rules but as our guiding principles for life."
"We often talk of salvation as being totally free. True, we can never earn God's grace and forgiveness. But Jesus never talked about a free, no-obligation offer. He told people to be sure they counted the cost before they joined in following him....he never suggested it was free. He said it would cost us everything." -p. 148
"Jesus assumes the whole law rests on the twin mandates to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbor as ourselves."-p.150
"We call all people and all rulers and all nations to forsake the dark forces and the ways of death and to live in the light of God, which is the only hope for the world."-p. 156
I love this lighthearted approach to controversial theology; an easy read laced with humor; a view of sacred scripture that may surprise.
"If you askI love this lighthearted approach to controversial theology; an easy read laced with humor; a view of sacred scripture that may surprise.
"If you ask me--and you have to because I am writing this book and I can do what I want--it's good news that the Canaanite extermination didn't happen...I have to say I'm a lot less bothered by a Bible that tells ancient stories than I am by the thought of God exterminating a population and giving their land to others."- p.61
"As all good stories do, the Bible shapes and molds us by drawing us into its world and inviting us to connect on many different levels, wherever we are on our journey, and to see ourselves better by its light by stirring our spiritual imagination to walk closer with God....That's how the Bible acts as a guide for the faithful--by being a story, not by giving us a list of directions disguised as a story." -p. 136
"Placing Chronicles after Kings was an inexcusably dumb move, if you ask me, and I think God should give this editor some sort of temporary afterlife punishment before entering his glory--like make him read the entire 'Left Behind' series nonstop for a year...out of order."-p.91
"As the generations passed, Jews needed to bridge that gap between their past, with its diverse and binding document, and the ever-changing present, to stay connected to what God was saying to them NOW within the pages of the ANCIENT scripture...BRIDGING THE GAP REQUIRED A CREATIVE HANDLING OF SCRIPTURE TO FIND DEEPER MEANING THAN WHAT THE WORDS ON THE PAGE SAY ON THE SURFACE."-173
"Debating the Bible...and coming up with creative readings to address changing times was a mark of faithful Judaism. Jews were not 'legalistic' about handling the law...Remaining faithful to the Bible here and now meant having to be flexible. The debates of the day were about how to be flexible and creative, not whether scripture was still binding."-174
"There is no higher 'law' to be obeyed than the law of love. That, at the end of the day, is what it means to follow Jesus."- 227
"All this is to say, if your present community sees your spiritual journey as a problem because you are wandering off their beach blanket, it may be time to find another community."-241
"An unsettled faith is a maturing faith."-238
"In the spiritual life, the opposite of fear is not courage, but trust."-240
This is a book I may need to add to my own library: for readability, humor, and historical content, its an easy five....more
This one may deserve a "five"; wait and see how it rides in memory. Some similarities to "The Sparrow", but unique in its own right. I found myself coThis one may deserve a "five"; wait and see how it rides in memory. Some similarities to "The Sparrow", but unique in its own right. I found myself coming to love and appreciate the little beings on Oasis right along with Peter. And the story closed with so much more to learn; perhaps there will be a sequel?...more
Confession: I considered giving up on this one early in the story. But I didn't.
"Where we are from... [s]tories are factual. If a farmer is declaredConfession: I considered giving up on this one early in the story. But I didn't.
"Where we are from... [s]tories are factual. If a farmer is declared a music virtuoso by the state, everyone had better start calling him maestro. And secretly, he'd be wise to start practicing the piano. For us, the story is more important than the person. If a man and his story are in conflict, it is the man who must change.” ...more
“The land belongs to the future, Carl; that's the way it seems to me. How many of the names on the county clerk's plat will be there in fifty years? I“The land belongs to the future, Carl; that's the way it seems to me. How many of the names on the county clerk's plat will be there in fifty years? I might as well try to will the sunset over there to my brother's children. We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it--for a little while.”-187
"...Alexandra hummed an old Swedish hymn, and Emil wondered why his sister looked so happy. Her face was so radiant that he felt shy about asking her. For the first time, Perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward it with love and yearning. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and storing and glorious. Her eyes drank in the breadth of it, until her tears blinded her. Then the Genius of the Divide, the great, free spirit which breathes across it, must have bend lower than it ever bent to a human will before. The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or woman." -46
“Alexandra sighed. "I have a feeling that if you go away, you will not come back. Something will happen to one of us, or to both. People have to snatch at happiness when they can, in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find. What I have is yours if you care enough about me to take it.” -114
A story of survival and how the author found the courage and determination to dismantle the brick wall that held her captive:
"For years, maybe for myA story of survival and how the author found the courage and determination to dismantle the brick wall that held her captive:
"For years, maybe for my whole life, it felt as though there was a brick wall down the middle of everything. Standing outside those buildings, I could almost picture it. On one side of the wall there was society, and on the other side there was me, us, the people in the place I came from. Separate. We were separate. The feeling in my heart was of the world being divided into an 'us" versus 'them," and everyone on the other side of the wall felt like 'those people." The everyday working people on the train, the smart students who raised their hands in class and got everything right, the functional families, the people who went away to college--they all felt like 'those people' to me. And then there were people like us: the dropouts, welfare cases, truants, and discipline problems. Different. And there were specific things that made us different.
For one thing, in my family and for the people in our neighborhood, the pace of life was frantic, determined solely by immediate needs; hunger, rent, heat, the electric bill. A standard of "for right now" was applied to every dilemma. Welfare wasn't a solid life plan, but for right now bills were due and the check must be cashed. Ma and Daddy shouldn't be getting high, but for right now ma had the shakes and needed her fix......On our side of the wall, priority was given to whatever thing might solve the most immediate problem. This is why the lives of those on the other side of the wall held so much mystery for me.
How was it that anyone ended up possessing oddities such as a savings account, a car, or a house that they actually owned? How exactly did anyone go about getting and maintaining a job? And what was the thinking that got people to take four extra years of school after they'd already earned a high school diploma?.....For people on our side of the wall, talking about the future always meant our near future, our greatest concern was the immediate solution to our most urgent needs..." -248-249
With uncompromising clarity the author takes the reader to a side of the wall where drugs come before the needs of children with devastating consequences.
The setting, descriptive paragraphs, and intriguing idea of what would happen if a live baby could somehow be washed ashore on a tiny island caught myThe setting, descriptive paragraphs, and intriguing idea of what would happen if a live baby could somehow be washed ashore on a tiny island caught my interest and made a strong beginning to this story. But I had increasing difficulty understanding the perceptions and choices of supposedly reasonable & responsible adults. For me, the explanations offered through an examination of their lives just did not suffice. Rotating around the immature responses of supposedly mature adults,the story spirals to its fractured conclusion.
Several quotations worth keeping: "He traced the constellations as they slid their way across the roof of the world from dusk till dawn. The precision of it, the quiet orderliness of the stars, gave him a sense of freedom. There was nothing he was going through that the stars had not seen before, somewhere, some time on this earth. Given enough time, their memory wound close over his life like healing a would. All would be forgotten, all suffering erased." -p. 253
"Sometimes life turns out hard, Isabel. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it's done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk."-p. 311
"Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things....we always have a choice." -p. 323
"Your family's never in your past. You carry it around with you everywhere." -p. 44...more
A wealth of information involving slavery during the era of the beginnings of our nation. I found it interesting to consider the differences between tA wealth of information involving slavery during the era of the beginnings of our nation. I found it interesting to consider the differences between this era and that of the civil war as well as its aftermath. The author presents the information in an easy to read conversational tone that invites the reader to consider how the personalities presented may have viewed their world as well as their own choices. I do not share the viewpoint that overall the author comes across as being angry. Yes, there is plenty in the lives of slaves that may be worth our anger, but the author helps me understand the era in a way that is beyond anger and leads to an understanding of how well meaning people could have allowed slavery to continue....more