Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman

About the book

Alabama, 1931. A posse stops a freight train and arrests nine black youths. Their crime: fighting with white boys. Then two white girls emerge from another freight car, and fast as anyone can say Jim Crow, the cry of rape goes up. One of the girls sticks to her story. The other changes her tune, again and again. A young journalist, whose only connection to the incident is her overheated social conscience, fights to save the nine youths from the electric chair, redeem the girl who repents her lie, and make amends for her own past. Intertwining historical actors and fictional characters, stirring racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism into an explosive brew, Scottsboro is a novel of a shocking injustice that convulsed the nation and reverberated around the world, destroyed lives, forged careers, and brought out the worst and the best in the men and women who fought for the cause.

Reviewed by New Forest/Waterside U3A Reading Group:

A book which should be made compulsory reading for anyone claiming to be socially civilised. Not an easy read but no matter how much the topic is hated once started can not easily be abandoned. Typical reaction ‘I loved the book, but hated the subject.’.

Star rating: ****

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