William Cobb Left His Legacy in Books.

#perlesaerie Remembering William Cobb who passed Monday night. I had the privilege of reviewing a few of his books for The Alabama Writer’s Forums First Draft Magazine. This is my favorite.

“The Wings of Morning”

William Cobb’s “Wings of Morning”, is strewn with magic both real and surreal. It is 1965 in Hammond, Alabama – any Alabama small town of that time. It begins slow, as a simmering southern summer morning with the prodigal – here daughter – returned to the fold. Gone is the youth and innocence, which were her gold. Yet, Rachel Taylor is full of life and a quiet confidence in herself and her magic. She attends the birth of her nephew, Eshu, and sees her mother to and through death’s door. These steps along the measured path of her life set the tone for what’s to come.
The stage is set for the dance of life and death, and they take many forms at Cobb’s hand. He creates a cast of ordinary people leading ordinary lives, a healer, a ‘Mam’bo, a hoodoo’, a ghost and more. Each is a fully rounded character bringing every part of their nature to bear to survive the rapidly changing times. There is the crisis of identity for some, and everywhere there is the intolerance of closed minds, all laced with violence, hate, lust, and fear, and hope.
Set against the backdrop leading to the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, the key players are two families – one white one black – inextricably bound by sin and secrets, race and culture. They walk a path begun long ago when one did not acknowledge aloud what everyone knew in whispers, and the children were always the last to know.
As with most journeys, these people don’t know how long the road is, nor with all its turns, its destination. Never do they imagine the full impact of taking the trip at all. It is all choices made at each juncture that shape the person and the future: this way or that, harden the heart or soften it, give up or press on. In the end, each choice, each step upon their chosen path tosses this small group from small town Alabama into the current that feeds the tide in the affairs of men. This was and is the Civil Rights movement.
New ideas are being born, and struggling to stand up-right, and an old way of life is in its death throes. As the old guard rails against the tide, the marchers take it at the flood looking for a new way, toward a better day, and their hopes are borne on the “Wings of Morning.”

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