“Ms. Jean Louise, stand up! Your Father’s passin’….”

I reminded once again how powerful words affect people. I watched a terrific new documentary on author Harper Lee called ‘Hey Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill A Mockingbird.’ The film captures not just the essence of the novel and how it has so moved and resonated with millions over the decades but also reveals a bit more about the woman behind the words.

One of the fascinating aspects of the documentary is that it’s often thought that the novel came out on the heels of the civil rights movement. In point of fact, it precipitated its more profound movements (Selma, the Freedom Bus, etc.). There are some who even feel it created a foundation of sorts and gave an effective momentum to the efforts of so many Americans to live in equality and freedom.

Of course, we’re not all the way there yet, are we?

With censorship of the novel still an issue in some counties today and with racism still undefeated, I think the book’s clarion call is as important today as it was in 1960.

I doubt Ms. Lee could have ever have foreseen the impact of her marvelous novel. Let’s hope, for all our sakes, that its glorious tale of bright childhood and the dark aspects of adulthood met head on with truth never gets extinguished.

Indeed, Atticus’s decency and courage are needed now more than ever.

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