Liz was born in Arkansas. She came to California during the Great Migration in the 1940s. She began working for the Connor family in the mid-1950s, and remained with Todd's family until her death at 82. Like other day workers, she was financially poor and had to work her entire life without retirement.
Although his parents would have preferred it differently, Todd insisted that she be part of the family photo at Todd's wedding in the 1980s. This is the only photo Todd has of Liz. She was a simple and unassuming woman, which made the power of her presence all the more compelling.
Todd Connor reveals the shocking truth of his childhood — a story he has held private until now.
Mr. Connor is an entrepreneur who has started several businesses in Northern California during his thirty year career. He still lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he grew up and where this story takes place. He has two grown children and a beautiful, loving wife. He is involved in several non-profits focused on the reconciliation of Blacks and whites in Oakland, CA., and its surrounding neighborhoods. He speaks regularly at his local church and serves as one of its part-time pastors. In his spare time, he enjoys bike riding, tennis, and of course, writing.
“For years, I have tried to describe to people what it was like to be the victim of child abuse." Connor said. "Even more complicated was explaining the deep love I experienced from the most implausible source — the poor, heavyset Black woman my parents hired as their maid. I would tell stories, but it seemed difficult for others to understand the extreme contrasts of love and hatred coexisting in my early life. It was my desire for people to feel the realities of my experience. I knew I needed to bring them into that drama to have them feel what my siblings and I felt as small children growing up with a psychotic mother, an uncaring father, and a loving Black woman who exuded God-like love and herculean bravery during the turbulent '60s while she, and her race, were simultaneously being abused by American society.”