Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe and Dovey Johnson Roundtree

  

Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree by Katie McCabe  and  Dovey Johnson Roundtree 

Winner of the Association of Black Women Historians’ 2009 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize for best publication on an African American woman

  

Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe  and  Dovey Johnson Roundtree is the story of pioneering Army veteran, attorney and minister Dovey Johnson Roundtree, co-authored by Katie McCabe. This is a love song to the black family and a celebration of the eternal values that make it possible to transcend our pain and limitations. Dovey Roundtree is an icon, and her story is an inspiration to all families. 

Dovey Johnson Roundtree is a retired lawyer, an Army veteran, and an A.M.E. minister. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.   Katie McCabe is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washingtonian Magazine, Baltimore Magazine, and Reader’s Digest, among others. Her National Magazine Award-winning article on black medical legend Vivien Thomas was the basis for the HBO film Something the Lord Made, winner of three Emmys and a 2005 Peabody Award.

 Chapter One, “Walking Unafraid,” about Dovey Roundtree’s courageous Grandma Rachel, the woman Dovey calls “the greatest warrior I ever knew.”

 

Excerpt:  Chapter One: Walking Unafraid

Every evening, in the tiny kitchen of the old frame shotgun house where I grew up in Charlotte, my Grandma Rachel marked the day’s end by a ritual etched in my memory with a clarity that belies the eighty years since then. 

She ceased to rush, as she did endlessly in the hours between dawn and darkness, and she commenced to draw water and lay out clean towels and mix an ointment she made of turpentine and mutton tallow.  I would stand, quiet, watching her heat the water on the wood stove, pour it into a metal pan, then remove her stockings and hoist her skirts as she lifted her feet into the steaming bath.  

Her feet were broken.  They were gnarled and twisted and horribly misshapen, with the bones sticking out in strange ways.  As she lifted them into the steaming water, she winced. And I would know, though she had spoken no word and given no sign, that all day long her feet had been paining her.

How frightened I was the first time I saw those poor broken feet. I was five years old, and my mother and my three sisters and I had just moved to my grandparents’ home after the death of my father, James Eliot Johnson, in the influenza epidemic of 1919.  My grandmother had scooped us up and taken us under her wing, whisking us from my parents’ house to the little parsonage where she lived with my Grandpa. All day long, she hovered over us…Like a tiny whirling dervish she moved, and so, when I first saw her grow quiet, I was startled.

Then I saw her feet, so large and misshapen they seemed to belong to another woman entirely, and I drew back, frightened.  Every night after that, I’d look at her scarred, twisted feet, at the skin stretched taut over the jutting bones, and I’d want to ask her what had made them that way.  But something in her silence warned me not to. 

The day came, finally, as I was just beginning to mature into womanhood, when Grandma took me to her in private and spoke to me of what had happened to her feet.

A white man had broken them.

It had happened a very long time ago, Grandma said, when she was a young girl, just coming into womanhood herself…and she had seen the man watching her with a look that told her he meant to do her harm.

“The slave master,” she called him.  He was the overseer on the farm near Henrietta, North Carolina, where her father worked, and when she spoke of what he had tried to do to her, a look of anguish crossed her face unlike any I had seen before or would see after.

“He was meanin’ to bother me, Dovey Mae,” she told me, in the delicate way she had of speaking about things sexual.  “I ran and fought every way I knew how.  And I hurt him. Then he grabbed hold o’ me and he stomped, hard as he could, on my feet – to keep me from runnin’ for good, he told me.  But I kept on runnin.’”

“Wasn’t nothing to do but fight him, hard as I could,” she said. “He wasn’t goin’ to have his way with me.”  

Grandma’s mother had wrapped her smashed, bleeding feet in cloth and rubbed them with the mutton tallow and turpentine ointment Grandma would use for the rest of her days.  But the bones had been so crushed that her feet were forever misshapen, and so twisted that for a while she could not walk at all.  When she did, it was with a swaying awkwardness that late at night became a limp.

And yet, for all of that, she had won.  He had not, as she said, had “his way” with her.

I saw my Grandma Rachel fight everything with that same fierceness – poverty, sickness, injustice, and even despair.  Like a mighty stream, her courage flowed through my childhood, shaping me as rushing water shapes the pebbles in its path.

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Note: Excerpt used for promotional purposes. Permission given by University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS)

Review from Summer 2010 Women Lawyers’ Journal, posted on MS. JD web site:
http://ms-jd.org/summer-reading-justice-older-law-katie-mccabe-and-dovey-johnson-roundtree
Review from The Charlotte Observer, August 23, 2009, posted on Black Christian News web site:
http://blackchristiannews.com/news/2009/08/new-book-tells-of-pioneer-for-justice-women-and-civil-rights.html

» Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe
Purchase your copy today!
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 160473132X
http://www.amazon.com/Justice-Older-than-Law-Roundtree/dp/160473132X

Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“I am amazed at how God orchestrated my life perfectly, intentionally and purposely!”–Rhonda

Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring

Contact: Rhonda Herring Dent
– E-mail: everchanging@e-rhonda.net or dentr0413@verizon.net

Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.

Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved “Serenity Prayer” that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.

Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.

Rhonda states, “I have always loved to read and to write since I was a child. I began to write in a journal some years ago and to communicate with God as I went through some struggles in my life.

A few years prior to maintaining the journal I had a vision of change. From the vision I understood that God would use me in some capacity to promote change.

As I began typing my memoirs on my computer a story began to unfold before me. Only then did I realize the correlation of my writing to my vision. Thus leading me to write Ever Changing.

“Ever Changing is triumphantly wonderful, painfully dynamic and is the ultimate road map to purpose.” —Rhonda

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Gazelle Press is an imprint of Genesis Communications, Inc., a publisher of Christian books since 1987. Its mission is to equip Christians to have a better understanding of God’s Word and His will for their lives. Rhonda Herring is an author and teacher whose ministry to the Body of Christ is bringing the message of hope, healing and experiencing the Glory of God!
TESTIMONIALS:

“Ever Changing is truly an outstanding inspirational story that reveals the infinite power to transform thoughts and feelings through self reflection and self awareness. The message within this book is not only inspiring, it is straightforward and demonstrates how transforming oneself from the inside outward is the truest path to enlightenment. This book is a factual testimony of God’s power to guide us from within and evoke changes that lead to inner peace. Rhonda’s story presents a candid and humble account of a journey to understand how self acceptance and spiritual wisdom can lead all of us to qenuine peace and joy. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to cultivate a deeper understanding from within.”
– Dr. Jane Bradley, Professor of Finance and Accounting, Baker College Online.

“Rhonda K. Herring shares her courageous testimony of change! Her honesty and simplicity in describing significant events in her life is soul-searching. By reading her trials, tribulations and victories as they happened, the reader accompanies Rhonda on her journey toward purpose. Her heartache, joy, elation, and above all, hope lifts off the pages. Rhonda moves the reader to think about where they go to draw upon for strength and hope in their own ‘ever-changing’ lives.”
– Veronica Helden, Arlington, VA.

“Ever Changing communicates the strength of a true relationship with God. It is practical and inspiring and will give everyone the encouragement to press on. It imparts the understanding that unless God does the navigating, we have no direction. You will laugh cry, and rejoice with the author, but ultimately you will come to the realization that God is present in all situations. By sharing her journey we all understand our own. Her honesty is inspiring and her journey liberating. Ever Changing is a must read!”
– Karen St Clair, Greenville, NC


Rhonda Herring Dent
Email: everchanging@e-rhonda.net
Author’s Website: http://www.e-rhonda.net