Southern Strife: A Novel of Racial Tension in the 1960s

Southern Strife: A Novel of Racial Tension in the 1960s

by Valerie Stocking


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It's 1966, just two years after President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, and twelve-year-old Joy Bradford's life is changing dramatically. Born and raised in the white suburbs of Connecticut, Joy is moving to Willets Point, Florida to live with her mother Jessica because her parents are divorcing. Hoping it really is the promised land that her mother describes, she joins in Jessica's enthusiasm only to find out how horribly wrong that vision is.

Unfortunately for Joy, the move does nothing to change her mother's emotional and mental instability, resulting in a continuation of the physical and verbal abuse she is all too used to receiving. Her new school is years behind her old one, the kids dress and act differently, and on just the second day, Joy has a run-in with her geography teacher. Things are going from bad to worse until Clay Dooley, a mixed-race boy from that same geography class, offers his friendship. The two become close, sending shockwaves that dovetail with a growing sense of tension and unease in the community as a whole. Clay's father Clytus, a well-educated black man, attempts to open his own clothing store in the white section of downtown Willets Point. This causes Jessica's new lawyer cum boyfriend and leader of the local Klan chapter, Bill McKendrick, to join with other white citizens in using great force to block Clytus' dreams. Tempers flare and emotions run high when Clytus refuses the Klan's subsequent demand that he and his family move out of the white neighborhood they live in, setting off an explosive confrontation that will change them all forever.

An absorbing and suspenseful coming of age story set against the tumultuous backdrop of racial tensions in mid-1960's America, Stocking's blend of historical fact and fiction is as relevant today as it was during the explosive Civil Rights era. Probing the human psyche for the deep-seated fears that fuel the fires of racism and bigotry, she expertly builds characters who feel their very lives are at stake by the changing times. Full of insight and intensity, Southern Strife: A Novel of Racial Tension in the 1960's is a spellbinding journey you won't want to miss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781481899574
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/03/2013
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Valerie Stocking began writing when she was five years old. In 1966, she and her mother moved from Connecticut to a small town in Florida, where Valerie encountered difficulties with the public school system and racial bigotry. She left a year later.

She has written consistently throughout her life, everything from newspaper articles to advertising copy. She worked for six years as an editor for audio books, doing abridgements of over 100 novels. For ten years she wrote plays, which had readings and productions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Her first novel, A Touch of Murder, was published in 2010. It was nominated for a Global Ebook Award for Best Mystery in 2011. Her second novel, Southern Strife: A Novel of Racial Tension in the 1960's, was a semi-finalist in the Best Indie Book of 2012 competition, sponsored by Kindle Book Review.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is working on her next novel.

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