Told alternately, by Colleen, an idealistic young white teacher; Frank, a black high school football player; and Evelyn, an experienced black teacher, Freedom Lessons is the story of how the lives of these three very different people intersect in a rural Louisiana town in 1969.
Colleen enters into the culture of the rural Louisiana town with little knowledge of the customs and practices. She is compelled to take sides after the school is integrated—an overnight event for which the town’s residents are unprepared, and which leads to confusion and anxiety in the community—and her values are tested as she seeks to understand her black colleagues, particularly Evelyn. Why doesn’t she want to integrate the public schools? Frank, meanwhile, is determined to protect his mother and siblings after his father’s suspicious death—which means keeping a secret from everyone around him.
Based on the author’s experience teaching in Louisiana in the late sixties, this heartfelt, unflinching novel about the unexpected effects of school integration during that time takes on the issues our nation currently faces regarding race, unity, and identity.
BIOGRAPHY Eileen Harrison Sanchez is now retired after a forty-year career in education. She started as a teacher and ended as a district administrator.
A reader, a writer, and a perennial—a person with a no-age mindset—she considers family and friends to be the most important parts of her life, followed by traveling and bird watching from her gazebo.
Eileen blogs as Gram's Book Club and muses as A Perennial Writer's Thoughts. She is one of three administrators of the FB group Prose and the Pandemic which is devoted to supporting authors and readers and the books they write and love.
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