Jeanhee Kang, author of Meegook: Dry Bones, tells the story of her life and her immigration from South Korea.

 

The Rotary Club of Jackson was pleased to welcome Jeanhee Kang, author, realtor and Rotary Club of Jackson member, to speak.

 

President Neddie Winters, president of Mission Mississippi, called the meeting to order.  Rob Salley of Sunnybrook Children’s Home gave the invocation, Johnny Donaldson, president of BankPlus Jackson, led the pledge of allegiance and Neddie led the Rotary 4-way test.  Mike Pepper, Mississippi Road Builders, introduced and welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests of Rotarians.

 

The head table included Keith Ferguson, owner of LogoStoreUSA, Neddie Winters, Mission Mississippi and Rotary Club of Jackson President, our speaker Jeanhee Kang, Tom Johnson, Retired L3 Aerospace, Carol Hardwick, owner of Hardwick Art, and Jim Rosenblatt, Dean Emeritus Mississippi College School of Law.

Neddie discussed the membership drive.  Starting August 15 continuing until November 15, the Rotary Club member who recruits the most members is eligible to win $500 for themselves and $1000 for our Club.  Additionally, the Rotary District 6820 Leadership Institute Parts I, II and III will be held August 25 at Jackson First Church.  This is open to all Rotarians. http://www.hoa-rli.org

 

Keith Ferguson introduced Jeanhee Kang, previous owner of multiple retail stores, broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway and author of Meegook:  Dry Bones.

 

Three years after the Korean War ends, Jeanhee Kang is born to poor rice farmers in a predominantly Buddhist culture. A bowl of white rice came only once a year as a birthday celebration during her early childhood. A starving five-year-old Kang prays for food and to be fat.  In that period, success rate was determined by “fatness”. 

 

While working in the rice fields, Kang was inspired by the Dam Keeper (the person who controls the water) and his success.  Upon questioning her mother, she determined that education was the key to success and began a relentless pursuit to have a high school education.  Although her grades were not good, and she was whipped in front of classmates, she did not give up.  She likened herself to a honey badger. 


At sixteen, Kang’s life is forced into a role as a sub-human for breaking Korean taboo. She felt she had two choices, suicide or running away. Kang refuses to yield to her iron clad culture, believing her childhood dreams are still valid, and decides to challenge her unforgiving culture at any cost. She steals money to buy a one-way train ticket to run away to a brothel to earn a way to escape South Korea against all odds. At eighteen, Kang arrives in Meegook —America with $40.00 and a set of Korean to English—English to Korean dictionaries ready for a second chance against all odds. Upon landing in America in an 11th grade classroom in 1975, she began to fulfill her dreams.  Ms. Kang fully realized her redemption in Jackson, Mississippi.