Larry O. Rivers


By 1987, Florida civil rights hero Virgil Hawkins's earthly journey neared its end. At 80 years of age, the sunset of his life had given him many signs that relief and rest lay just on the horizon: grayer hair, slower reflexes, sharper aches, and ailing health. But still, even in these waning years, peace eluded him. The painful, ongoing irony and contradiction in his life appeared as clear as the black-haired, white female newspaper reporter sitting in his living room, carefully scratching out notes as he shared a story that he had repeated so many times.1