Many, I’m sure, must have noticed that we lost a great American novelist last week–Harper Lee, author of the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. I remember reading the book years ago before seeing the movie. The story, for me, was very important as it basically went against what I had been taught which was that Negroes should be kept “in their place.” Although I was never taught to disrespect black people, I was admonished that they should not be allowed to become “uppity.” When I read Harper Lee’s novel as a teenager, I found myself sympathizing with Atticus Finch and realizing that he was right. It was perhaps the beginning of my crawling out of the prejudiced dogma that I had been taught. Still, on occasion, I find myself slipping back into a thought that is based on prejudice, but I toss it out quickly. The night after Harper Lee died, my partner and I re-watched the movie based on her great novel and celebrated her writing and pondering the results, such as the election of Barack Obama, the first African-American president.