In the wake of author Harper Lee’s death just a few weeks ago, this article published in the arts and culture section of the Economist, remembers not only the authors memory, but the legacy of her most famous work and its continuing impact on race relations in America today.
“To Kill A Mockingbird” inspired a conversation about racial injustice that arguably had more impact than many political speeches ever could. The story holds uncanny parallels to a real-life racially-charged trial in Alabama.
“There were uncanny parallels between the McMillian case and the novel’s famous trial: white paranoia about interracial relations, the scapegoating of an innocent black man, a hasty conviction that flew in the face of evidence and common sense, and town authorities bent on execution.”
The best-selling work of fiction seems to have almost transcended time. With the continuing rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and issues of police brutality, people of color continue to connect with character Tom Robinson, and his quest for innocence and justice.
“The novel remains a testament to the ways fiction can expose a society’s sins, alter consciousness, and advance the gradual work of social change.”