Sunday, July 13, 2008

Racial Prejudice in MRS. LIEUTENANT and the movie AMAZING GRACE

Racial prejudice is a theme in MRS. LIEUTENANT, which takes place in 1970 only six years after the Civil Rights Act became law in the U.S. and only 20 years after the U.S. Army was integrated in the Korean War in 1950.

Racial prejudice is also the theme of the 2006 movie AMAZING GRACE, which my husband and I just watched on Netflix. Although I knew that the song “Amazing Grace” was written by a slave captain who repented of his trade (John Newton around 1772), I didn’t know about the one man in England’s Parliament who fought to abolish the English slave trade – William Wilberforce.

Wilberforce and a small band of supporters fought for years to abolish the English slave trade, finally achieving victory with the Slave Trade Act of 1807. (But English slavery itself was not abolished until 1833 with the Slavery Abolition Act.) The movie chronicles Wilberforce’s fight for those many years, a fight that cost him his health and almost his sanity.

While the movie is interesting, it’s not necessarily worth watching. But read a brief bio of Wilberforce at Wikipedia in order to know something about this incredible man.

P.S. A shout-out to Karen O'Connor, who is now the Okinawa, Japan, correspondent book reviewer for the online A ‘n’ E Vibe besides continuing her own Planet Books blog at

Karen emailed me that she posted her Planet Books review of MRS. LIEUTENANT on this new gig. You can read this review at

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