BOOK CORNER: Author writes letters to MLK in ’50 Years of Assimilation’

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“50 Years of Assimilation: From the Midwest to the ‘Woke’ West and All the Blackness and Whiteness in Between,” by Wanda Lee Florestine, is a book that explores the author’s pursuit of the American Dream that the Rev. Martin Luther King spoke of in his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

“It is my dream report to Martin Luther King Jr,” Florestine said. “My generation was the first generation to inherit [his] dream of integration. I felt given the progress and lack of progress of race relations in our country, I wanted to give voice to the post-civil rights generation in a way I had not read before.”

In the book, Florestine takes readers on her journey through each decade from the 1960s through the 2010s.

“‘50 Years’ started as a letter, then two, then it became apparent that I had so much more to write about,” Florestine said. “So the entire book is a series of letters to Dr. King, decade by decade, taking him on my American journey of integration, which turned out to be assimilation.”

It was important for Florestine to create a book that would give voice to her experience and also serve as a guide for readers of all generations.

“Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, in the 60s and 70s, and then moving to Northern California in the 80s; our generation was the first generation to have ‘free access’ via the Civil Rights Act, but we did not have a guidebook, or a real plan really, we just sort of migrated to ‘freer’ parts of the country in our pursuits of the American Dream,” Florestine said.

It is her hope that the book will be educational for readers.

“I hope it will shed more light on how racism plays out, in all of its iterations,” Florestine said. “The conscious and the subconscious ways in which it breeds and perpetuates in all aspects of our lives; so, we can heal and put this cancer to rest.”

In addition to being an author, Florestine is a talent director for a no-profit solar construction company. She is based in the San Francisco Bay area.

For more information about the author and her work, visit wandaleeflorestine.com.

“50 Years of Assimilation: From the Midwest to the ‘Woke’ West and All the Blackness and Whiteness in Between” is available for $19.64 on Amazon.

 

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