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Blood at the Root by Patrick Phillips

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The New York Times Book Review included this book on their list of 100 notable books first published in 2016, and it garnered numerous other awards. Congressman John Lewis called it “a vital investigation of Forsyth’s history, and of the process by which racial injustice is perpetuated in America.” Blood at the Root centers on the events that culminated in 1912 with a lynching, the execution of two innocent Black teenagers, and the forcible expulsion of Forsyth County’s entire Black population. The book puts all this in context, beginning with the removal of the Cherokee from North Georgia in the 1830s, and it follows the story up to the 1987 Ku Klux Klan march in Forsythe County, just north of Atlanta. “Nothing undermines social justice more than our collective ignorance about the racial terrorism that haunts too many places in America. Blood at the Root is a must-read, thorough, detailed, and powerful. It’s a story we need to know and never forget.” Bryan Stevenson. “Meticulously and elegantly reveals the power of white supremacy . . . to distort and destroy, not only lives and accomplishments, but historical memory, the law, and basic human civility” – Carol Anderson. The author, Patrick Phillips, grew up in Forsyth County. He is a poet and professor who now lives in Brooklyn.

New York: W.W. Norton, 2016. 310 pages with an Index, Notes, photos. Hardback in dust jacket.