The one line to keep on your typewriter

or computer.
I made L listen to me as I told him about the trouble I was having with my essay on Mixing. It's about:
-the use of the term "mix" in describing the missing Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney 50+ years ago; they were a "mix trio," meaning they were anti-segregationists
-a booklet that was published in 1864 on Miscegenation, advocating it and at the same time inventing the eponymous term,
-the nefariousness of the aforementioned booklet, which was written anonymously by two Democratic anti-Lincoln newspapermen who aimed to get Republican anti-slavery endorsements so that they could expose the Republicans as race mixers

-L's essay in high school about race, which advocated race mixing in order to extinguish racism, and the comment from his instructor: What if your daughter married one?
-the marriage of the daughter and the son to African-Americans, and a cute but important dialogue in which our grandson says he is mixed with pie, which his father interpreted as a mis-hearing of the term "bi"
-self-critical and raw statements by Toi Derricotte from "The Black Notebook"
-the electrocution of Willie McGee in Laurel, MS, for raping a white woman; they probably had a consensual relationship
-the charges against the white racists behind the triple murder, verdicts, and further verdicts
-and overall my snarky superiority to the racists, which is pretty easy and probably unfair because their actions were 50 and 150 years ago & I'm not talking about now very much & they are such easy targets

He asked me what the point of my book was and after some more talking I came up with this:
...that slavery and the Civil War are part of everything in present-day US, whether we're aware of this or not

So that is what your piece is about, he said, and again he recommended I read a book of his, White Over Black, and this time I listened to him. It traces the beliefs about and prejudices of Englishmen toward Africans from the mid-16th century through early 19th. The germ of current racism is there and I'm reading it with interest, lamenting how unschooled I am in this.Asking myself if I should get/ should have gotten a PhD in history a dozen or so years ago, but knowing that I would have been impatient with having to do work assigned by others.

My one line to remember/elevator pitch is not quite gainly or subtle but it captures broadly what I'm doing.