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KILLERS OF THE DREAM by Lillian...

KILLERS OF THE DREAM by Lillian Smith (Norton: $9.95; 253 pp.). One of the key books in the history of racial attitudes in America, “Killers” provoked a storm of controversy when it appeared in 1948. Smith says she wrote this meditation on the effects of segregation “to find out what life in a segregated culture had done to me.” She recalls discovering the conflict between the Christian love people she knew preached, and the nasty realities of “whites only” facilities, forbidden friendships and lynchings. In understated prose, Smith argues that racial segregation deformed the lives of African Americans--and of the white citizens it was created to benefit.


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