Tag Archive for: Minneapolis

From My Point of View by Penny Manson

Penny Manson

Penny Manson has become a dear friend since we worked together on the Sisters in Crime Capitol Crimes Chapter’s Killer Workshop. Penny is bright, articulate, funny, talented, and exactly the kind of person you would want to be at your side in any situation. At a Zoom meeting where our friend Carla Damron spoke about her new novel that deals with human trafficking and the need to tackle social issues in fiction, Penny expressed how she recently felt while attending Bouchercon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We were moved by her words and encouraged her to write them down. That’s exactly what she has done. Please take the time to read her important message. Thank you, Penny, for sharing with us. — Paula Gail Benson

From My Point of View by Penny Manson

I attended Bouchercon this year in Minneapolis Minnesota. While many people took pictures with the Mary Tyler Moore statue flinging their hats into the air in the iconic pose most of us watched on TV while growing up, I went to George Floyd Square. When I was younger, I watched Mary Tyler Moore too. What happened on May 25, 2020, came long after that show was on the air nevertheless, the episode was familiar.

I didn’t have transportation of my own and I admit I might not have made it to the square if not for taking the time to visit an Army buddy. Jeri and I went through basic training in another life and I love her dearly. If I was ever in danger, I would want her by my side. As we looked at the mural, brown eyes met blue, and she told me she’d purchased a gun for protection during the days following the George Floyd killing. They lived close enough to the square that if the city erupted in violence, there was fear of getting caught in the cross-hairs. Never before had she ever considered people might want to harm her just because she was white.

Photo by Penny Manson

Most people of color in America were saddened and outraged by what happened to George Floyd, but not all that surprised. For many, it has felt like open season on us for a very long time. I felt unbelievably moved and sad as I looked at the mural that stood vigil over the square. Then I looked at the light fingers intertwined with mine. I thought of the Emily Dickinson poem, “Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul…” Isn’t it amazing how it’s crap that makes things grow? The last Bouchercon I attended was in Dallas in 2019. The makeup of the panels is more diverse now. The look of the authors whose books were nominated for awards has changed. When George Floyd lay, his neck squeezed shut underneath the knee of that officer, not just the Black community was impacted, we all felt the ripples.

I hope we can build a better world from the lessons we have learned. Change is happening, slow but sure, and I believe we’re “gonna make it after all.” I think I’ll go outside and throw my hat in the air.

Photo by Lonnie Paulson