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A Book and a Chat with Karen Simpson

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A Book and a Chat

A Book and a Chat

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Karen is the author of "Act of Grace" a book loosely based on an incident that happened several years ago in my hometown during a Klan rally.

Act of Grace is the story of Grace Johnson a bright, perceptive African American high school senior who saves the life of a Klansman named Jonathan Gilmore. Everyone in her hometown of Vigilant, Michigan wants to know why. Few people, black or white, understand her act of sacrifice especially since rumor holds that years ago a member of the Gilmore family murdered several African -Americans including Grace’s father. Grace wants to remain silent on the matter but Ancestors spirits emerge in visions and insist she fulfill her shamanic duties by bearing witness to her town’s violent racial history so that all involved might transcend it.

Grace begins a journal, but she warns readers upfront that if they are looking for a simple or rational explanation for her actions then they need to look elsewhere. She knows that her accounts of her ability to speak to the dead, along with her connections to a trickster spirit name Oba, will be hard for most people to believe. With insight shaped by the wisdom found in African American mythology and the book, The Velveteen Rabbit, Grace recounts a story of eye-for-an-eye vengeance that has blinded entire generations in her hometown.
 

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