My mother grew up poor in Tupelo, Mississippi, next door to Elvis. In spite of the strong Jim Crow (forced segregation) laws, they played with both black and white kids.
My Southern parents raised me in Arkansas and Tennessee and taught me to be kind and to respect everybody. Because of their influence I was mostly unaware of the shocking reality of racism, until I began to research history on my own, as an adult. Then I discovered many secrets that had been hidden from me in my school history classes and are still not widely known. I share much of what I learned in my new book: Off the RACE Track–From Color-Blind to Color-Kind.