Beyond FACTS: NO PLACE SAFE by Kim Reid
“Reid’s well-composed, straightforward memoir recounts the two fraught years of her adolescence when a serial killer terrorized Atlanta. Reid’s mother, an investigator in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in 1979, told her every detail of the quest for the murderer of 29 victims, mostly young black boys. Meanwhile, Reid attended a Catholic school in an all-white part of town, torn between loyalty to her black neighborhood friends and the desire to fit in with the white kids and feel safe at her private school, located far from the danger zone of her neighborhood. Her mother was strict and cracked down on her liberty while piling on adult responsibilities such as taking care of her younger sister, Bridgette. But that made her no less a hero in Reid’s eyes as she hunted for the killer and supported Reid's efforts to diversify her school curriculum. Reid maintains a lively sense of dialogue and characterization, and her memoir is an affecting tale of a girl’s transformation in a climate of fear and pervasive, bleak Southern racism.” Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
We’re talking about significant, strong characters (I love the quote Carleen pulls out regarding Kim’s mother and the quote from Kim on how she searched for solace at the site of one killing), a terrifying time in recent history, and nation-wide apathy despite a series of 29 (!) murders because the victims were black. Add to that Kim Reid’s story of personal growth as she tried to accommodate her two realities as a resident of a seriously traumatized neighborhood and a student at a private school in a distant, much safer part of town—where she faced blatant racism—and you’ve got an honest, informed memoir of impact and grace that’s well worth reading.
Local folks can meet Kim Reid at Borders on Boulder’s 29th Street Mall at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 6 and at Borders in Broomfield’s Flatiron Crossing Mall at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 13. Hopefully there will be many more Kim Reid appearances and signings scheduled soon!