He Called Me Sister: A True Story of Finding Humanity on Death Row (Hardcover)
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An unlikely relationship cultivated over years with a man on death row. Moving from strangers to friends to family, this is a story of humanity, compassion, fear, love, and forgiveness. Wherever you stand on the death penalty, you should read this book.— Elyse
Deeply poignant and astonishingly personal, this "moving story of a death in Tennessee" (Bill Moyers) shows hope can endure, grace can redeem, and humanity can exist--even in the darkest of places
It was a clash of race, privilege, and circumstance when Alan Robertson first signed up through a church program to visit Cecil Johnson on Death Row, to offer friendship and compassion. Alan's wife Suzanne had no intention of being involved, but slowly, through phone calls and letters, she began to empathize and understand him. That Cecil and Suzanne eventually became such close friends--a white middle-class woman and a Black man who grew up devoid of advantage--is a testament to perseverance, forgiveness, and love, but also to the notion that differences don't have to be barriers.
This book recounts a fifteen-year friendship and how trust and compassion were forged despite the difficult circumstances, and how Cecil ended up ministering more to Suzanne's family than they did to him. The story details how Cecil maintained inexplicable joy and hope despite the tragic events of his life and how Suzanne, Alan, and their two daughters opened their hearts to a man convicted of murder. Cecil Johnson was executed Dec. 2, 2009.