Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Water is WideThe Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After graduating from the Citadel in the late 1960's and before becoming a beloved bestselling Southern author Pat Conroy spent a pretty exasperating but inspiring year teaching a group of impoverished and undereducated black children on Yamacraw Island off the South Carolina coast. Put in charge of 18 supposedly higher level kids who could neither read or write and didn't even know that they lived in America, he takes on the challenge with unconventional methods such as movies, music, and even field trips away from the island from which they'd never strayed. To say he didn't receive much support from school board authorities is putting it mildly, in fact it's pretty much an endless dispute, but surely those children lucky enough to have been in his class that year had lives forever changed.
This memoir was written during times when school desegregation and other issues were at play but it must be pretty embarrassing time in history for education administration.

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