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In 1971, University of Oklahoma professor Dr. George Henderson was in the process of writing a book. Titled America’s Other Children: Public Schools Outside Suburbia, Henderson’s work sought to explore the educational plight of poor and minority children in the rural US. One day, a letter appeared on his desk. It had been mailed from West Virginia and contained a 1900 word essay titled “What is Poverty”. The only identifying information came from the signature on the essay: Jo Goodwin Parker.
Henderson included the essay in his book. I read it for the first time 35 years later.
It brought me to my knees.