written by Lila Quintero Weaver
“In 1961, Marion was a charming town of 3,200, neatly divided between black and white. Until we arrived. We introduced a sliver of gray into the demographic pie.”
Lilo Quintero Weaver’s understated and elegant memoir of growing up in the south during the upheaval and fast-moving changes of the Civil Rights era, told in Darkroom, is stunning, not only for its beautifully rendered imagery but also for its heartfelt text. This is a story told from a unique perspective. Weaver’s family, having moved to the States in the ‘60s from Argentina, are outsiders somewhat to the racial divide they move into. And yet they are part of it as well. Where they fit, and how they fit, in this divided city defines them and makes them unwitting witnesses to a nation in turmoil.
Darkroom is a remarkably detailed historical account. Weaver began the book as an undergrad five years ago. Over time, she filled these pages not just with her own family’s personal story, but also the story of the Civil Rights movement itself, told in pieces large and small.
There is much to give this story heft. Weaver wisely lets the story unfold slowly and without great fanfare, focusing instead on the human lives inside it.