Layers of Truth

In the spring of 1964, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is recruiting white college students to teach in Freedom Schools and encourage Blacks to register to vote in the racial hotbed of Mississippi. At her best friend’s urging, Lenore Rogers, a white student at Barnard College in New York, signs up for the Freedom Summer Project. 

She is reluctant at first, but ultimately, her belief that segregation is unjust prevails along with her desire to make a difference. While in Ohio for training, Lenore learns what to expect—and how to protect herself—in the Jim Crow South. There she meets Luke, a young Black man working for SNCC. His expressive eyes hold the anger and pain that Black Americans have experienced for generations. When their arms inadvertently touch, she feels an instant, dangerous, spark. 

Working with archival material and foot soldiers who lived it, Layers of Truth brings to life many of the unsung heroes whose names will never make it into the history textbooks but who nevertheless put their lives on the line for the sake of true equality for Black Americans.

About the Author

Award-winning author, Rosalie T. Turner, is a civil rights historian who writes stories that embody the struggles of African Americans. Her book, Sisters of Valor, received the Military Writers Society of America Bronze Award for Fiction. Her book March With Me, was both a 2013 INDIES Winner and USA Best Book finalist and her book Freedom Bound received the Florida First Coast Writers’ Award.

An Endowed Professorship at Texas A&M University – Commerce has been named in honor of Frank and Rosalie Turner for their work in Race and Reconciliation. Rosalie and Frank have been leading pilgrimages of students from the university to Alabama and Mississippi, reaching many hundreds of students. These have been developed into 3 credit hour classes. The university has expanded the idea of exposing students to the civil rights struggle in our nation hoping to empower them to move forward with some kind of action.

Rosalie is married to Frank Kile Turner, and they are soon celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. The Turners have two sons, Kile who with his wife Sara (both attorneys) live in Birmingham, Alabama. Joel along with his wife Kelly, live in Durham, North Carolina. Joel is a homicide detective and Kelly is a public health nurse. Rosalie and Frank lost a third son, Terry, to leukemia when he was ten years old. Rosalie and Frank have 6 grandchildren.

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I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT ending systemic racism