Separate Fountains by Patti Wilson Byars

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Separate Fountains by Patti Wilson Byars

Early rumblings of the Civil Rights Movement shook many towns across the South in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and in Separate Fountains, author Patti Wilson Byars shows that her hometown of Jonesboro, Georgia was not excluded. Jonesboro reflected the typical sleepy, little Southern town of that era - where bigotry, along with the magnolias, was in full bloom.

Georgia's red clay roads led into Jonesboro where soda fountains enticed children out of the hot sun. But, that same red clay also stained neighbors' shoes that stuck out from underneath white robes. The dichotomy of the ideal and the unjust could be found in picturesque Jonesboro-- as it could in most any other Southern town.

In Separate Fountains, twelve year old Katie Jane Taylor questions the social issues of the south of the 1940s and 1950s as her beloved black housekeeper, Ardella, has to drink from a water fountain marked "COLORED" and has to ride behind the white line on the Greyhound bus to Atlanta. Katie Jane also challenges her father to stand up against the Ku Klux Klan and how they control the political and social climate of the town. One day while in the drugstore, Katie Jane and her six year old brother, Josh, eavesdrop on a conversation between Ku Klux Klan members and learn that Ardella's brother is the Klan's next victim.

Separate Fountains is history not found in textbooks. It's history every American citizen needs to know -- as our nation continues to fight against racial and ethnic discrimination. Separate Fountains stresses tolerance for others -- no matter race or creed.


About Patti Wilson Byars

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Published May 21, 2015 226 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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