Patrick's Reviews > The Last Thing You Surrender

The Last Thing You Surrender by Leonard Pitts Jr.
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I think about the baby, Adam, as I type this. He'd be in his 70s now, having seen so much in his life, the things that changed, the things that haven't. DH Lawrence once wrote in a review of Hermann Melville's Moby Dick that the original sin of America was slavery, and like the original sin of mankind, we spend our lives trying to atone for it. Leonard Pitts Jr. has tried with this novel to explain the cost of not reconciling, the costs of hatred that continue to divide the world today.

The baby born as a result of the worst hatred would have lived to see this country rip itself to pieces to right the wrongs that created him, would have lived to see the Civil Rights movement, lived to see Dr. King's dream speech, lived through the Million Man March, lived through eight years of a man born of love between Black and white become president. He might have lived through the last few years as hatred has begun to pull us backward, he might be here now, trying to explain to his children's children what he saw that night in the Bienville Square, how the possibilities were laid out in front of George and Thelma like so many threads of time, how they might have discovered that pulling one or another or still one other could change the world.

Pitts' book made me weep for my child, mixed race but born of love, and how I have no more answers for him than George did for Adam on Christmas Eve in 1945.
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Reading Progress

April 1, 2019 – Started Reading
April 1, 2019 – Shelved
April 6, 2019 – Finished Reading

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