MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio
To refresh your memory from Part 1 of MaryAnn Diorio's post she said, "His words struck my soul like a nuclear bomb. For the first time in my life, I was speechless. Never had I experienced prejudice on a personal level. And it stung!"
Back then, legal options were few for rebuttal. So, I took my degrees and ended up accepting a job stuffing envelope at a local library.
And I forgave the superintendent.
I began to have a new appreciation for African-Americans and for the discrimination they had suffered. Unbeknown to me, God was preparing me to write In Black and White many years later.
Time passed. I had children, and those children grew up. Then, my older daughter announced that she and her husband were adopting a baby. A black baby! My heart leapt with joy! Shortly thereafter, my daughter placed a beautiful African-American baby in my arms, and my heart was stolen forever!
Some of the pieces of my story puzzle were coming together. My African-American granddaughter was a huge piece of that puzzle. I began to learn the African-American culture.
I began to understand prejudice in a new way as people made unwittingly hurtful comments when we were out in public. I began to notice the undercurrent of racism still prevalent in our society. Assumptions abounded. Misunderstandings surfaced. Opportunities for loving clarification ensued.
As I watched my daughter learn how to braid my granddaughter's beautiful thick hair into lovely cornrows, I gained a new appreciation for the special camaraderie that existed among black women. They were eager to teach my daughter their traditional hairstyling techniques, and they warmly encouraged her in her efforts.
Since that initial start on my novel in the 90s, nearly twenty years transpired, during which time I wrote three other novels, two novellas, several short stories, and several non-fiction books and articles. Then, at the beginning of 2018, I heard the Lord's voice say to me, "It's time!"
Instantly, I knew what He meant. So, in January of 2018, I picked up the manuscript for In Black and White and resumed writing the story.
I spent weeks researching racism, and racism in the 50s, in particular. What I learned broke my heart. What I learned fueled my already passionate desire to write this book.
What I learned confirmed that In Black and White is a story for this time—and for all time. For prejudice is still alive and well. Not only regarding skin color, but also regarding ethnicity. We all see that anti-Semitism is on the rise and many people groups are still cruelly marginalized.
The writing of the story did not go easily. In fact, I wrote the book once and then, after a year of writing, I discarded what I'd written and started over again. The reason? The first book was not the story of God's heart. The second one was. It took writing the first book to discover that truth.
But the fact that I was now writing the book of God's heart did not make the writing any easier. In fact, it made it more difficult. Satan was not about to allow this book to be written without a fight.
Or more than one.
Obstacle after obstacle pounded me. Health challenges. Family challenges. Computer challenges. They came, one after another, with no respite in between.
But I persisted.
And in the end, victory came as well—as I knew it would because God was behind this book.
In Black and White is, indeed, a book of God's heart. It is also a book of my heart. And I fervently hope that, as you read it, it will become a book of your heart as well.