Along with many current and former Oak Parkers, my husband and I have been watching America to Me with great interest. The episodes are so dense with people and incidents and images — sad, moving, heroic, troubling, perplexing — that they can be difficult to digest and even to know where to begin a discussion. 

Thus, each week, I eagerly await Michael Romain’s reflections on the series. In each column, he has found a way to focus in on one profound theme, drawing from a broad range of sources — literary, scholarly, sociological, historical — for support and added insight. 

The wisdom of this paragraph from his first column has particularly stayed with me: “Race at OPRF, the film shows, is lived as an amoral fact. It’s a series of real-life propositions, split-second decisions, day-to-day tradeoffs. Race is a conundrum built atop layers and layers of decisions, some good, some bad, that actual, flesh-and-blood people are forced to navigate in the here and now.” 

Steve James’ series is a great gift to our community, as is Michael Romain’s column. I am grateful to Wednesday Journal for providing this channel for Romain’s writing and intellect. And I am grateful to Romain for his exceptional work.

Susan Messer 

Oak Park

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