When You Could Still Hear Crickets
When You Could Still Hear Crickets is a fictional drama coming-of-age story of an entire nation (America) and of two young friends during the tumult, angst, anger, and chaos of integration in the North and segregation in the South from 1945 to 1968, just before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination.
It captures, drawing from actual historical events and the way things were, the inescapable fact that soul is not a black thing nor a white thing but a human thing, which is only diminished by bias, hate, and prejudice. The novel, both uplifting and tragic, points out the eternal truth that the world was (is) comprised (both in the South and North) of millions of people with goodness, mercy, and fairness in their hearts, and like life itself, bad things happen to good people.
At the novel’s midpoint to its end, played out in the caldron that was college basketball and college life in the mid-1960s, the novel focuses on the two leading characters, their influences, their values, their awkward journey to finding love with and through their respective girlfriends, their loyalty to each other, and their joy and freedom in excelling in the game of basketball. It also thoughtfully inquiries into issues that affected college women, black and white, in the 60s, concerning sexual mores, interracial dating, and rape, while attending fictional college basketball powerhouse Joliet University in Chicago.