Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Books and Beyond with Saundra Henderson Windom, Author of Orchestration

10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library
Meeting Room C

Event Details

About the Book

     The war cost her everything, a mother, a father, and a country.  Four-year-old Bang Sun found tied to a tree, is riddled with disease, malnutrition, and bears the scars of a tragic life.  

     Facing a future of nothing but pain, loss, and hopelessness, we follow the story of a mixed-race African-American child of the Korean War.  When Korea begins purging itself of its unwanted casualties, babies of war, her abandonment leads to two orphanages and eventually to adoption in America - where Bang Sun must now become an American - a Black American.  

     Fiercely resilient and embodying her birth country's hope as expressed in the song Arirang, Bang Sun, who becomes Saundra Henderson, must learn to navigate a new language, a new culture, and a new family.  Through it all, she holds resolutely to the imperfect memory from her five years in her homeland and tenaciously to that of the ‘Boy' who saved her life.  

     A powerful memoir of strength, grace, resilience, courage, and kindness, you'll find yourself immersed in this beautiful and inspiring recollection of the child called Bang Sun.  

About the Author:

     Saundra Henderson Windom is a celebrated and decorated educator who retired as a principal of Alonzo A. Crim Open Campus High school in Atlanta, Georgia.  Known by her Korean name, Chang, Bang Sun, her friends affectionately call her Sandy.  Her administrative staff adds yet another moniker as they jokingly call her "Forrest Gump" because of her vast life experiences and stories.  

     An orphan of the Korean War, she was one of the first Korean "baby lift" adoptees to America when Korea began purging and exiling mix-race children of the war.  Adopted into an African American family in Compton, California, in 1958, Saundra excelled academically, earning her undergraduate degree from Stanford and her Masters from the University of Southern California.  

     From the dusty, barren roads of Korea to the orphanages that saved her life, Saundra's will to survive is reinforced by her belief that her hope for something is better than the circumstance of her birth ignited a spiritual force that strategically orchestrated her life.  Her success, she affirms, is because of God's grace and mercy.  

     Sandy, a devoted mother of three, also supports, orphaned and needy children through her church's partnerships with local and international missionary programs, including World Vision, the very organization whose mission saved her life.  


Fifty years ago, in our freshman dorm at Stanford, we knew her as Sandy Henderson, a dynamic, beautiful spirit straight outta Compton. What we never knew-and what she barely knew-was her extraordinary history. Her cinematic book -"Annie" for our times -tells that story.

-Glenn Kramon, former assistant managing editor, The New York Times

An affecting memoir that intelligently unpacks an experience of cultural dislocation. The author's story is as remarkable as it is moving, and she furnishes an exceedingly thoughtful reflection on a life that was full of both misfortune and luck.

-Kirkus Review

"Poetic. Haunting. Hopeful. Historical. ORCHESTRATION is a profound testimony of faith, identity, resilience and self-determination. Brutality. Neglect. Denial. All unmatched by the infinite power of the human spirit. Bang Sun is my new personal hero!"

-Dr. Lamman Rucker

Film Actor/Producer - Activist - Educator - Entrepreneur

A fascinating story of perseverance, love for family and God's beautiful orchestration.

-Susan L. Taylor, Editor-in-Chief Emerita of Essence Magazine and Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement

Event Type(s): Author Events, Book Clubs
Age Group(s): Adults
Presenter: Saundra Henderson Windom
Wang-Ying Glasgow
(901) 415-2709