Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen
Following the lead of his racially color-blind son, Michael Rosen and his wife found themselves adopting a group of underprivileged African American boys within the context of their very privileged Caucasian world. What began as a kids' baseball game in the park, became a commitment that would bridge the racial and cultural divide, introducing the youngsters to Nintendo, their first dinner at a nice restaurant, a book store, and ultimately providing the guidance and support to get them into college. Not surprising, the Rosens gained as much as they gave, including an education in the real impact of racial and socioeconomic discrimination. Dr. Rosen explains, "I don't understand what needs to be done to change this massive level of oppression. But I do know that unless there are types of mentoring where people reach across those divides, then that very tragic aspect of our society is never going to change." This tender story of how one family grew to hold the dreams of young men, who might never have escaped that oppression, will bring you a new perspective on what's possible, when we live as though everyone really does deserve an equal chance to succeed.
"For Michael Rosen to have lived this story would've been sufficient. For him to be able to write about it with such beauty and grit, such delicacy and bluntness, seems like a gift of destiny. 'What Else But Home' renders our country's defining forces of race and class--and immigration--down to the society's molecular unit, the family, and shows us what we have become and might become, in all our heroic messiness. This is a valentine to America's diversity--and indeed to every enterprise of courage, chaos, and love that results in magic."

--Diane McWhorter, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Carry Me Home"

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