Almost 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, actual integration is hard to find.
That's the premise of Tanner Colby's book Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America.
Tanner discusses the book with Kansas City author Whitney Terrell on Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. as part of the Writers at Work series.
An incisive and candid look at how America got lost on the way to Dr. King's Promised Land, Some of My Best Friends . . . chronicles mammoth battles over forced busing, continued unfair housing practices, and affirmative action programs that have done little to help. The bleak fact, Colby writes, is that black people and white people in the United States don't spend much time together - at work, school, church, or anywhere.
Colby, himself a child of a white-flight Southern suburb, set out to discover why.
The book is anchored by four interrelated stories: The transformation of a once-racist Birmingham school system; a Kansas City neighborhood's fight against housing discrimination; the curious racial divide of the Madison Avenue ad world; and a Louisiana Catholic parish's 40-year effort to build an integrated church.
Colby uncovers the deep emotional fault lines set trembling by race and takes an unflinching look at an America still struggling to reach the mountaintop.
Colby is former head writer of the National Lampoon Radio Hour, and coauthor of Belushi: A Biography.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the garage adjacent to the library.
Co-sponsored by the Cockefair Chair at UMKC, the Writers at Work Roundtable and the UMKC English Department.