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Stories of Scottsboro by James Goodman

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Scottsboro is the county seat of Jackson County, Alabama, the northeastern most county in Alabama, south of Tennessee and west of Georgia, on the Tennessee River about sixty miles southwest of Chattanooga. In March of 1931 there was a fight on a train in Jackson County between some white youths and some black youths, and two white girls accused the nine black youths of raping them. The local Grand Jury indicted the nine on charges of rape. The next month, in separate trials, 8 of the 9 were convicted and sentenced to death. In February of that year, one of the two girls denies that the rape ever happened in a letter to a friend. That same year the Alabama Supreme Court affirms the convictions of seven and rules that the other was a juvenile, and later the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the convictions of seven of the defendants. Over the course of the next few years most of the defendants are re-tried and convicted up to four times. Into the 1970s at least one of the "Scottsboro Boys" is still serving time. The title of this book, "Stories" of Scottsboro is very intentional. The author, James Goodman teaches both history and creative non-fiction at Rutgers. He  dies not tell the story of the Scottsboro case. Rather he tells it as a series of the stories of the different people involved who have different perspectives on the case. But he does not let the participants tell their own stories. He tells the stories explaining why he thinks the actors acted as they did. The book was a finalist for a Pulitzer. "A rich and compelling narrative, as taut and suspenseful as good fiction. In places, Stories of Scottsboro is almost heartbreaking, not least because Goodman shows what people felt as well as what they thought." -- Washington Post Book World.

New York: Vintage/Random House, a 1955 paperback edition of a 1954 release. 465 pages with an Index, Bibliography, Notes, Chronology, and photos. Trade paperback.