John Martin's interest in American race relations is so deeply embedded in his family heritage that he finds it impossible to identify its beginnings. He believes that race, as a social construct, became an unavoidable fact of life at the point of conception for most African Americans of his generation.
Nevertheless, he considers himself fortunate to be a small part of the continuing movement toward a brother/sisterhood in America, which transcends race. John Martin fervently hopes that "When White is Black," (Rivers Bend Press, $14.95) his first published book, will offer some help in the ongoing quest to understand and move beyond the many onerous repercussions of race in America.
Author Mason Durkman, Ph.D., said about the book, "Looking back on his family's history, John Martin visits a fascinating cast of characters, some of whom he knew and loved, some of whom he heard about and admired. All of whom, whatever their lineage or skin tone, fought to survive in a nation where the one-drop rule of racism relegated African Americans to what U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney described in 1857 as a 'subordinate and inferior class of beings.'
"Fully aware that echoes of Taney's pronouncement still reverberate in the 21st century, Martin expressively argues that with the demise of the one-drop rule, his variously hued children and grandchildren have a chance to live and prosper in an America that may someday achieve the full meaning of its designation as 'the world's first multicultural society.' Martin has written a memoir that matters," Durkman wrote.