Barbara Bush Sees Promise In 'Precious'

Barbara Bush i i

Former First Lady Barbara Bush founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989. Barbara Bush Foundation hide caption

itoggle caption Barbara Bush Foundation
Barbara Bush

Former First Lady Barbara Bush founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989.

Barbara Bush Foundation

Former first lady Barbara Bush showed a movie recently for some 200 friends, family and colleagues in Houston. The movie she picked was Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire, a gritty portrayal of a young African-American woman struggling to escape poverty and her abusive parents in 1980's Harlem.

Some friends cautioned her that it was too painful and tough a film to show the group. But Mrs. Bush says after the movie ended, no one in the audience moved.

"The movie is so strong and so honest," Mrs. Bush says, adding that even her husband, former President George H.W. Bush — who had said he was too tired to sit through the film — stayed until the end.

The former First Lady, who has spent many years promoting literacy, says Precious offers an example of how learning to read can change a person's life. In the film, the title character learns how to read while attending an alternative high school.

The program's host Michel Martin got to know Mrs. Bush during President George H.W. Bush's term in office, when Martin was the White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. Mrs. Bush turns the tables in this interview, in a spontaneous conversation with Martin about her reaction to the movie.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.