Years later, when he finally told his wife, Patsy, what had happened, she encouraged him to tell his story through art. And he did. Using leather as a canvas and the leather carving skills he learned in prison, he began creating beautiful, colorful renderings of people picking cotton, working in the fields, and attending church services. They now sell for up to $500,000.
“My photos are about cotton plantations, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement and my time as a prisoner,” Rembert wrote in “Chasing Me to My Grave.” “They celebrate the people I knew and loved and how they lived. These are my memories of black life in the 1950s and 1960s, and how those of us who left the South took it with us and kept it. I want to share my memories with people who have been through what I have been through. Even after finding success as an artist, in Connecticut and New York, I dreamed of returning home.
Rembert first went public with his story in 2020 on NPR’s Storycorps podcast. You can hear him tell it on storycorps.org. His award-winning memoir followed last year and is illustrated with images of Rembert’s artwork. Sadly, he passed away at 75 just a week before publication.
On the Storycorps recording, Patsy Rembert tells her husband, “I wish the world knew what kind of man you are.” Now it is.
Historical partnership: Martin Luther King Jr.’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech, delivered at the 1963 March on Washington, will be published next month in a new collector’s edition with a foreword by Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet. presidential in the history of the United States. .
It is the first book published under HarperCollins’ new Martin Luther King Jr. Library imprint, the result of an agreement the company reached last year with the King Estate to become the official publisher of the archives of King. HarperCollins published King’s first book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in 1958.
The publisher plans to reissue the speech each year with a foreword by a different contemporary writer each time. The book will come with “The Dream Journal,” featuring inspirational quotes from King with space for the owner to jot down their own thoughts.
“I Have a Dream” (HarperCollins, $19.99) goes on sale June 14. It will be published in Spanish, Portuguese, French and German later this year.
Queen of the Beach Read: For 30 years now, Atlanta’s own Mary Kay Andrews has released a fun, frothy page-turner just in time for beach vacation season, and this year is no different. His latest, “The Homewreckers” (St. Martin’s Press, $28.99), was released to his legion of fans on May 5. Five must be his lucky number, as the book debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller.
Both mystery and romance, “The Homewreckers” highlights one of Andrew’s favorite hobbies: fixing old houses. Young widow Hattie Kavanaugh restores homes for a living, but when she tries to strike out on her own and flip a house on her own, it’s a flop. With her confidence at rock bottom, she gets the opportunity to star in a reality show about a beach house renovation featuring a male lead who gets under her skin, for better or worse. During the demolition, evidence is discovered regarding the mysterious disappearance of a young woman many years ago.
Why all of Andrews’ books haven’t been made into TV movies yet, I’ll never know. This one looks like an ideal candidate. Are you paying attention, Hallmark Channel?
Suzanne Van Atten is a literary critic and managing editor for The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Contact her email@example.com follow her on @svanatten.