Excerpt from Carol Moye’s Compelled To Write Interview of Leander Jackie Grogan….
“I live in Texas where immigration is a powerfully divisive issue, one that conservative Republicans invariably count on to get themselves elected. If I hadn’t seen and interacted with undocumented workers who had slipped across the border in the dead of night, I would fully expect them to be demons from hell, invading the poor Texas countryside, wreaking havoc upon the land.
In fact, these are hard-working people. Five or six families moved into a single one bedroom apartment, eat can goods and pooled their money to buy a car to get off the bus line. They take the jobs that we don’t want, breathe in the cancerous roof tar, clean the dirty toilets and load the rotten garbage bags onto the truck. They work construction jobs below minimum wage and sometimes don’t get paid at all. But who can they tell? Who will listen to them without asking for their social security card?
They are illegal like we were illegal when we tried to eat at the same lunch counters with whites and the law said it was illegal. They are illegal like we were illegal when we tried to vote without passing the local poll tax test, you know, the one that asked blacks how many bubbles were in a bar of soap.
And so, King Juba’s Chest chronicles this young woman’s underground rags-to-riches story, the Mexican daughter of a black Mafia bagman who lives with one eye over his shoulder and death calling his name from every back alley in Chicago. On the raw and dirty side of the track, monumental lies abound, everyone is illegal and no one is playing by the rules.”
Full Interview here: