Penney Vickers Rivers was born in 1939 in Houston, Texas. She was raised in deep East Texas among the tall pines that blocked the sun and hid the sins and deep secrets; where the white children were born with an inherit belief that racism, bigotry and pure hate was a part of their privilege of being part of a white superior race. Her father's tales of the plight of generations beginning with their enslaved forefathers that were viewed as disposable property intrigued Penney. She married her husband Gerry and they traveled the world as he served in the military. Her experiences with different cultures and ethnicities made her realize that the intrigue that she felt as a young child was really unease and shame. It was decades later that she learned just how close to the back gate of her family home that a true horror story occurred. It was the scene of the six young innocent black men that were hung at the turn of the century. On Christmas Day 1986, when two uniformed murderers masked as deputies walked down the aisle of the jail and beat Loyal Garner to death. All of the unsettling memories as a child resurfaced. Penney attended the trail and witnessed the sanctimonious biased testimony that locals went through great efforts to close ranks around the homeboys. In her heart she saw Loyal family and sympathizers could view their efforts as a second killing of Loyal. This story was always inside her and she knew that it must be told. Are the six that were hung at the back gate calling out for their story to be told? A Thumb in God's Eye explores the history of ethnic disparity in the south. Based on actual history, it spotlights both the joys and sorrow life in another time and another world was like. And it brings to light how little some things change.
When I first met Penney Rivers I got the impression of a woman who has seen a great many things and had so many stories to tell. In her book, she compares herself to, "a mighty pine tree"... I have to say I agree. Now when I saw the title of the book I admit not only having curiosity at the title, but I was dreadfully interested in what it was about. I absolutely loved the book, there were moments that made me teary-eyed but it was so worth it. The book is based on a true story and I have always been interested in those stories as well as anything historical. The analogies the author has makes you feel like you are there watching things happen. While there are some things in the book that not everyone will agree with, it's refreshing to know that Penney wrote it anyway and if you don't like it so what. As with any book there are some things I could have done without, but overall I enjoyed the book as well as the part in the book where you find out the meaning behind the title of the book. When I read it I had that ahaa moment lol . Can't wait for more by this author.