Lillian Smith couldn't look away from the toxic social conditions that repressed the lives and imaginations of both whites and blacks. Segregation amounted to "spiritual lynching" she said.
She used her fame in the 1940s and 1950s to write and speak about it.
Her words are still timely today.
Lillian Smith's grave marker near her home on Screamer Mountain (outside Clayton, Georgia) is inscribed simply from a passage in her book The Journey: "Death can kill a man; that is all it can do to him; it cannot end his life. Because of memory----"
She had faith in humanity that her words would not disappear in the ether. She was optimistic that we always learn from others' experiences and memories. And she understood that sometimes it takes a while.
Everyone who has joined us on this journey to tell her story is helping to resurrect her memory for a new generation -- and there's no telling how far her ideas or courage will travel or the powerful effects they will have.
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