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Dothan Eagle profiles Mac Otts’s compelling new memoir on race

Better Than Them: The Unmaking of an Alabama Racist by Mac Otts

The Dothan Eagle recently profiled S. M. “Mac” Otts, author of Better Than Them: The Unmaking of an Alabama Racist in connection with Mr. Otts’s presentation at the Houston-Love Memorial Library. The feature recounts the story of a young man ready to assault civil rights protesters who grew to become the adoptive father of an interracial child, dedicated to improving relations between blacks and whites. The descendant of plantation slave owners, Otts was reared in the mentality of racism. His personal attitudes began changing during his college years. His memoir recounts an incredible transformation.

Speaking about race today, Otts told the Eagle:

“What if I’m a white person waiting in line at the grocery store to purchase groceries, and the person in front of me is counting coupons and I’m bothered,” Otts said. “If they’re black, is that different from if they’re white? There are a lot of remnants even with people who have overcome the primary thing of racism, and one of biggest reasons, I think, is we don’t communicate openly.”

The Mac Otts of 1965 probably wasn’t interested in talking out his issues.

Today’s Mac Otts wants others to realize how transformative honest discussions can be.

With Better Than Them Mac Otts offers a compelling contribution to the contemporary conversation on race.

Better Than Them: The Unmasking of an Alabama Racist is available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.