In the vein of Tuesdays with Morrie comes a powerful story of a black man in the brutal South who rose to the rank of mayor and the young reporter whose life he touched as he learned of the transforming power of forgiveness and love--now updated and repackaged.
Fred Montgomery, the son of sharecroppers in west Tennessee and boyhood friend of Alex Haley, grew up in poverty but had faith and confidence instilled in him by his parents. Fred worked hard and acquired his own farm in spite of opposition from his white neighbors. After losing two of his sons in separate drowning accidents, Fred tried twice to commit suicide. But Fred's attitude was changed when he experienced sympathy and love shown to him by his neighbors, white and black alike. In 1988 he proved that faith and love can prevail by becoming the first black mayor of the once strongly segregated Henning, Tennessee.
While telling this story, reporter Lucas Johnson shows glimpses of his own life, in which many of his relatives, including his own father, succumbed to the lure of alcohol and drugs. Lucas Johnson lost all hope. He had no faith; he had no love. Until he met Fred Montgomery. Years have passed, he concludes, since I first met Fred Montgomery . . . I'm a better person because of him. His life . . . gave me a credible blueprint on how to deal with life's problems and even grow stronger from them.