In a Silent Way is a novel by Mary Jo Hetzel about a young teacher activist in urban America.
The coming of age novel set in the late sixties, In a Silent Way, invites readers to see urban youth as the uncut gems and creative resources for change which they are. It shows how young Jeanna Kendall, assisted by savvy elders of color in the community, co-create a powerful learning community with students who face every form of extreme adversity and have been deeply disillusioned by their educational experience. The novel also depicts greatly committed, yet flawed, human beings attempting to build a grassroots movement for social justice within a culture wired to prevent genuine connections across divisions of race, class, gender, age and power. The novel portrays the habitual tendency of white organizers to take over control of cross-race movement organizations. It also uncovers the seemingly inevitable, invisible realities of women’s sexual exploitation and silencing in the movement and the damage it does to all concerned. In a Silent Way reveals the issues we must confront within and between ourselves if we are to move toward greater justice, community and wholeness today.
In a Silent Way will be published by She Writes Press in October 2016.