Mid-twentieth Century Love Story
Apartheid, class, and a rigid caste system is the backdrop for a couple’s mid-twentieth century love story set in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina. The turmoil around their romance reveals insight into divisive and uniting forces of a small community in a rural county. Their lives are touched and forever shaped by exclusion and the Ku Klux Klan; as well as by baseball bringing ethnic cooperation and the irony of a World War to fight racism. During the war, the young man first guards pilots and planes of the Tuskegee Airmen (Red Tails) before he is thrust into intense combat that erodes his hope of living to see his sweetheart again.
The story of the sweethearts is told in the historically accurate novel Hitting Life’s Curveballs by Bob Rogers.
As recently as 1970 in a small North Carolina town, a young African American veteran was chased and beaten to death in public by white men as he pleaded for his life. His story is told in the non-fiction book, Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy B. Tyson. Further context is found in North Carolina: Change and Tradition in a Southern State (non-fiction) by William A. Link, as Link examines the fascinating history of North Carolina through the lens of strong but contradictory historical patterns: powerful forces of traditionalism punctuated by hierarchies of race relations, class, and gender that clashed, especially during the last century.
Meet Bob Rogers as he signs Hitting Life’s Curveballs at historic Rosedale Plantation (3427 North Tryon Street in Charlotte, NC) between 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Saturdays, March 8 and March 15, 2014.