Wilkie and his wife Nancy reside in Oxford, Mississippi, and New Orleans, Louisiana. Bill Waller, a young district attorney willing to run against the grain of those days, conducted a strong prosecution, but both trials ended inconclusively, and Beckwith went free. And in 1989, the Clarion-Ledger, now out of the hands of the Hederman family, obtained old files from the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a defunct segregationist agency. He went on to work for the Boston Globe where he covered Jimmy Carter's campaign and did a stint as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East. But after Beckwith had determined that I had been born white and raised a Christian, he had agreed to an interview.
I'm proud of my enemies. He retired from the Globe in 2001. There is no simple answer. The South also exuded a metaphysical warmth. The Southerner is an imperfect, conflicted character, not easily pigeonholed -- though a stereotype invariably develops when the South attracts national attention.
Oh, I ate this book up! Full of beauty, humor, and pathos, Dixie is a story of redemption -- for both a region and a writer. When the Globe returned Wilkie to the South to cover the place like a foreign country for readers in that chilly northern town, he immediately sensed that major changes in both mindset and demographics had taken place since he left—changes that have been unfortunately obscured by the recent brouhaha over the Mississippi state flag. Wilkie exposes the real culprits of racism by examining their hating personalities. In the spring of that year, 1963, I had covered a civil rights rally at a church in Clarksdale, a Mississippi Delta city where I had been hired as a reporter. Two of her guests, David Crews and Peyton Prospere, had worked in the administration of her father, William Winter, a progressive governor in the early 1980s. But Waller told me something interesting. Despite his family pedigree, Beckwith represented a virulent element that had ultimately proved counterproductive to the Southern way of life.
Why do they live there? Through vivid recollections of landmark events, Dixie becomes both a striking eyewitness account of history and an unconventional tale of redemption full of beauty, humor, and pathos. It was as though he rejoined his tribe, a peculiar civilization bonded by accent and mannerisms and burdened by racial anxiety. Rather than knuckle under to American conventions, we actually intensified our regional eccentricities. Wilkie, experienced the riots at the University of Mississippi, and describes them as shameful to the state and the college. I recommend the book for its accurate view from a personal standpoint at this time in the recent past even if you have no connections to Mississippi — and especially if you do. For a few years in the early 1960s, it seemed that wily attorneys and buttoned-down movers and shakers in the white communities had found methods to delay integration indefinitely.
Perhaps my own Southern accent had beguiled him, though I suspect he had simply seized on what would be one of his last opportunities to expound publicly on his racial theories. It was as though he rejoined his tribe, a peculiar civilization bonded by accent and mannerisms and burdened by racial anxiety. Then he had showed up during the '87 campaign at a political rally and made an audacious gesture to shake Waller's hand. A few days before the third trial, I went to see Waller at his law office in Jackson. Dixie is a political and social history of the South during the second half of the twentieth century told from Curtis Wilkie's perspective as a white man intimately transformed by enormous racial and political upheavals.
Old pals who once waved the Confederate battle flag as if to stick a finger in the North's eye had cast the symbol aside after realizing that it grated on the sensitivities of fellow citizens who were black. Waller was elected governor in 1971, partly on the new strength of grateful blacks who had been unable to vote and ineligible for jury duty in 1964. By the time Martin Luther King was shot in Memphis, Wilkie had witnessed enough and he fled north. It seemed a time warp -- though this year events were not moving favorably for Beckwith. This book was a little difficult to get into initially because of the detail in which Wilkie describes the characters of his youth. Should you choose to read on kindle as I did, be aware that it has hundreds of typos! In the mid 1980s, he served as Middle East bureau chief for the Globe and covered the , the , the , and the.
She informed us that Willie was not there. Full of beauty, humor, and pathos, Dixie is a story of redemption -- for both a region and a writer. Approaching eighty-five, she was frail and moved slowly. D-Ind, from 1969 to 1971. Wilkie had left the South in 1969 in the wake of the violence surrounding the civil rights movement, vowing never to live there again. They are the annoying kind of errors, such as changing our to out, or Helfrich to Heltrich. So glad my Mississippi bookclub chose it to read.
Never Boston or Washington or Jerusalem or any of my other harbors during that period, even though a claim on a different place might have made my passage easier. He attended Ole Miss during the rioting in the fall of 1962, when James Meredith became the first African American to enroll in the school. I felt we were digging our own grave with our racial policies. But after traveling the world as a reporter, he did return in 1993, drawn by a deep-rooted affinity to the region of his youth. Within a month, I had come full circle. I would love to know if Amazon makes the corrections to all the things I reported! The allegations of jury tampering, coupled with the demands of the black population of Jackson -- which commanded 50 percent of the vote -- put pressure on the district attorney's office to bring Beckwith back to trial. An erudite man, Oscar was one of two brothers who had risked their place in Mississippi society by standing up for blacks.