Within Indie publishing, voices or stories that might otherwise be ignored get their opportunity to be heard. We often see titles that explore some corner of social-justice or civil rights issues, adding detail and diversity to the historic record.
In Destiny’s Child: Memoirs of a Preacher’s Daughter, Taylor Gibbs gives a firsthand account of her family’s work with Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, a young Martin Luther King Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Clintons and the Obamas. And it’s not just hagiography; Gibbs candidly describes visiting a condescending Marshall, who, she says, patted her ass as she left his office.
In Zita Cabello-Barrueto’s memoir, In Search of Spring, she describes bringing a civil suit against Armando Fernandez Larios, the Chilean death-squad commander who murdered her brother during Augusto Pinochet’ s dictatorship. The damages awarded were $4 million, but for Cabello-Barrueto, money was never the point. “By sharing the testimonies gathered for our lawsuit,” she writes, “I hope to awaken a sensibility in readers that will help change behavior, so that together we can prevent such dark times from recurring.”
Henry M. Ramirez’s A Chicano in the White House: The Nixon No One Knew appeared on our Best Indie Books of 2014 list. Ramirez, whom Richard Nixon appointed chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking People, names Nixon as the Amer ican president who worked hardest for the Latino community. While the president may have had his own agenda, “Nixon was the man who grew up with us Mexicans. He knew us, cared about us, and included us,” Ramirez writes. —K.S.
Karen Schechner is the senior Indie editor at Kirkus Reviews.