Newtown Quakers to Hear Author of Memoir About Race and Class

Wendy Sanford, author of "These Walls Between Us"
Wendy Sanford, author of “These Walls Between Us” 

Wendy Sanford and Mary Norman will speak via Zoom at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, January 29, about Wendy’s book, These Walls Between Us, to the Newtown Quaker Meeting adult class on 219 Court Street. The program will be aired in the Meetinghouse and directly on Zoom. The public is invited.

Wendy Sanford is a Quaker who describes in the book her relationship with her parents’ summer domestic helper on Nantucket, Mary Norman, a working-class African American woman about Sanford’s age from the segregated South. Their relationship starts when Mary Norman is 15 and Wendy Sanford is 12.

Their different backgrounds make real friendship between them almost impossible, yet a 60-year, bi-racial friendship continues through their caring for each other and their mutual commitment to Wendy’s mother and father until their death, Mary as caretaker and Wendy as the elder child.

Through the years, both Mary and Wendy marry, have children, divorce and re-marry. Mary becomes the first black guard in the Mercer County prison system while Wendy earns a divinity degree from Harvard and becomes a campus minister.

Newtown Friends Meeting co-founded by “Peaceable Kingdom” painter and Quaker minister, Edward Hicks, in 1815, is open to all who wish to attend. Regular First Day Education classes (Sunday School) for all ages begin at 9:45 a.m. and Meeting for Worship begins at 11 a.m. Childcare is available.

Norval Reece, Community Contributor

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