We all should probably have a mother like Jeanne Manford. She was a mother of all mothers by doing what she could do for her children. And when one of them came out as gay during a less understanding time to say the least, she could have disowned him, or told him he was a sinner or worse. She could have done nothing, but instead she said Yes, I will stand up for you and write a letter so the world can see how proud I am, and yes, I will walk with you in a parade for your rights. And, oh yeah, I will start a little thing called PFLAG.
Rob Sanders in The Mother of a Movement: Jeanne Manford: Ally, Activist, and Co-Found of PFLAG tells a story of what mothers could and can do. The text is terrible simple, just so you can see how different everyone is, but they pack a wallop It does not shy away from the issues (Manford’s son Morty is beaten, and you see him in the hospital, but it is just him with a bandage over his eyes), but things are done in a child friendly, accessible manner.
And Sam Kalda brings to light the 1970s in images that are, okay I will go there, GROOVY! But seriously, they are nice, comfortable, and fit the tone of the story. This time you can judge a book by its cover, or at least judge its illustrations.
My favorite part of the book is that we see the story of an ally and not just a person of the community. I am sure her son’s life story would be equally interesting, but here is the other side of the story. Here is a story about an everyday person, just a wife, mother, and teacher who was able to kick down some barriers. The other part I enjoyed was the fact the representation of some of the events really mirror the real photographs.