August 4th, 2013


U.S. civil rights movement questions

I'm writing a story set in the mid-to-late 1960s (beginning in 1966) in which several of the characters are involved in the U.S. civil rights movement (with most of them it's specifically the SCLC, although one of them flirted with a more militant group first). I've got a huge stack of books that I'm working my way through, and I think I can take care of most of the "little details" on my own, but I'm finding myself in need of someone I can talk with about some of the bigger things, such as what things felt like or how people in that environment might have reacted to x, y, or z.

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There are three different kinds of people I'd love to hear from: one, anyone who was actually there at the time, two, anyone who's got a lot of book-knowledge about the movement, or three, anyone who thinks they could extrapolate from their own more recent experiences. If you'd be willing to have a conversation (first here, of course, but if needed in email, Skype, AIM, your choice) with me about this and any other issues that come up, that would be terrific.

Thanks in advance to anyone who's willing to chime in.

Knee injury causing permanent but not debilitating problems

Hello wonderful community! My tale is set in present-day America; no magic, wizards, etc.

My character is an ex-sailor in his early twenties who in the past has suffered a (non-combat) knee injury that forced him to leave the Navy. For the purpose of the plot, he has to be able to walk around and run for short distances, but he suffers from at least some pain and has some sort of limit on his activity (like he probably can’t ever take up long-distance running or be a snowboarding champion). Maybe he has to wear a brace, or he walks with a slight limp. The main thing is that I need the problems from this injury to be permanent. The character is meant to be depressed, is out of work and has a drinking problem, and part of the depression is that he feels like he's already "ruined" and will never quite be the same again, so there should be no hope of it being 100% fixed by surgery or whatever means. I'd also prefer if the injury is something that can be caused by something relatively "normal," like sport or running or lifting, rather than anything dramatic like an explosion. Apart from that, the details are flexible.

I have googled "knee injury permanent damage" "knee injury chronic pain" and the like, with no luck. I can find plenty of examples of bad knee injuries, but they all seem to have a limited recovery time after treatment, or at the very worst, they’re fixed by surgery and then can cause problems 10 or 20 years down the line, and my guy is too young for that. This is great for those of us here in the real world, but it's making it very hard for me to torture my character.

Any ideas about what kind of injury could do this, and the extent of the problems it would cause? Thanks in advance!