In 2028, an ultra-conservative Congress amended the Voting Rights Act to make it illegal for millions of Black and poor citizens to vote, thereby significantly reducing the eligible Democrat voting base. And when the National Workfare Act was signed into law in 2029, they became wards of the federal government, losing important rights and privileges… and sometimes their lives. Michael Dobson and lifelong friends, Devin and Odessa, risk it all to rescue their loved ones and many others from Workfare, commonly viewed as modern-day slavery disguised as mandatory job training.
Michael Dobson and Devin Thomas lost their friend and brother, Trevor Minty, when they walked through the wrong neighborhood one fall night during their senior year of high school. No one was ever convicted. After that tragic event, the boys dedicated their lives to stand up for social justice, equality and to uplift their community. They later teamed up with Michael’s fiancé, Odessa Bradford, to start a small nonprofit organization whose mission was to connect people to resources and services to improve their quality of life. And after the rash of highly-publicized murders of innocent young Black people in the years leading up to 2020, they organized meetings and support groups that helped the community heal.
In Back to Dixie, the nonprofit group held voter registration drives and campaigned vigorously for Jim Weldon, the Democratic candidate for president in 2020, who promised to address systemic racism as a top priority once elected. His bitterly contested election victory was widely attributed to the Black vote. And true to his word, President Weldon signed the SCALE Act For Racial Equality into law in 2023. It became the most positively impactful law for Black people since the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Unfortunately, the law’s focus on Black lives made many in the country feel forgotten – and even betrayed by their country.
Strong America, a conservative organization of powerful businessmen and politicians, opposed the law and vowed to have it repealed. After reshaping Congress, they not only repealed SCALE, but passed laws that removed all civil and voting rights from most of the country’s Black and poor citizens. Their plan to ‘take America back’ culminated when Willie Earl, their hand-picked charismatic southern conservative, won the 2028 presidential election and signed the National Workfare Act into law shortly afterwards.
Under Workfare rules, millions of Black and poor citizens immediately became wards of the federal government, losing all freedoms and forced to work just to survive. Michael, Devin, and Odessa join REACH, a national organization formed to monitor and oppose the efforts of Strong America, in a desperate and dangerous plan and risk everything to free their friends and family members, including Michael’s mother, Sheila, from what was essentially modern-day slavery.
Back to Dixie follows the lives of some ordinary and a few not so ordinary people through ten tumultuous years when the political pendulum dramatically swings far left to far right, taking readers on an emotional journey through an alternate reality that is both riveting and terrifying.
Why I wrote Back to Dixie.
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From corporate meeting rooms to writing alone in a room, life’s road is never straight or direct. Instead, it has a way of taking us through experiences and events that shape our thoughts and perspectives, allowing us to evolve as the universe intended. I am thankful for all of life’s lessons, as I pull from them in my writings each day.
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