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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

Re: [CA] Los Angeles black newspaper

Dear Gail,

Whoo hoo! I'm so excited. Not only did we find them, but you knew them. I wonder if your mother and father were ever over to their house? I'm trying to find George, Jr. and MacDonald, or the three grandchildren listed. There are three Yvette Jackson's listed. My husband brought home three headsets for me to try, so I could type as I listen, but so far nobody can hear me when I'm wearing one. I thank you so much for the details of the Charles Drew society.

You know, for the novel, I invented a young black couple. I have her coming from very well-to-do people on both sides way back and him being a self-made man, the first to go to high school in his family, let alone college, let alone medical school and a residency and all that. She's pretty brave, by her standards, to marry him. I named my doctor Peregrine, made him from Missouri, had him going to Medill, made him a brave man and a good one, a good father, someone who stands off the Klan when the family first moves into West Adams. I made them both dedicated race people, which is what they called people devoted to working for civil rights in those days. I had decided that losing the battle over the Freeway was debilitating to them--the freeway took their neighbors, went right across the street from them--but he still found energy to do one last battle, founding this hospital, filling a huge void in the community, a need, and then to have it go bankrupt so soon. I invented him having a stroke from the stress and dying young and her life going on. . .

And then, to find out that he was even more heroic than I invented him, and that almost everything I invented seems true on some level--I even had him having two sons. And the hospital went under so soon after his early death, and that editorial from the Sentinel accusing black doctors of sending their patients to more prestigious hospitals and that's why it was floundering. How sad and ironic.

Look, I'm not writing George and Anna Jackson. I'm not writing their sons. I have to stuff a lot of history into one house. I doubt if I could stick with their stories even if it would be legal. I have one son becoming a surgeon, the other going off to the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and getting pretty damaged by the incredible stress and violence he encounters there, because I think so many of us have this image of Annelle Pounder and Fannie Lou Hammer and these dedicated souls who were so noble and brave no matter what, and so many of them were deeply harmed by horrible violence they encountered, even saintly folk like Robert Moses, who is still doing good today, teaching math and science to ghetto kids in the deep south, thinking math and science are the way out, but who it appears just snapped for a time back then. I don't want the real Jackson boys to have gone through what I'm putting fictional characters through!

But it's so exciting to find them, so real. I wonder if he and his wife were part of the lawsuit that allowed people to live in our neighborhood? Do you remember the mother at all? Does your mother?

I just thank you. They seem to alive to me. I wish I could have meet them. I'm glad I've learned about them. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sally Rafowicz

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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