Blood Justice: The Lynching of Mack Charles Parker

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9780195041217: Blood Justice: The Lynching of Mack Charles Parker
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Riveting in its moment-by-moment detail, Blood Justice meticulously reconstructs the story of one of the last lynchings in America--a grim, dramatic, but nearly forgotten episode from the Civil Rights era. The year was 1959; the place, Poplarville, Mississippi. Charged with the rape of a white woman, a young black man named Mack Charles Parker was abducted from his jail cell by a white mob, beaten, carried across state lines, and ultimately shot, with his abductors leaving his body in the Pearl River. A massive FBI investigation followed and two grand juries met to investigate the case; yet no arrests or indictments were ever made. Working from previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department documents, extensive interviews with many of the surviving principals involved in the case, and a variety of newspaper accounts, Howard Smead tells the full story of the Parker lynching for the first time. He presents a vivid picture of a small Southern town gripped by racism and distrust of federal authority and of the travesty of justice that followed in the wake of murder. As Smead points out, the case is particularly fascinating in its awful ironies: Parker was very likely guilty of the crime of which he was accused; he had in fact been turned over to the authorities by other blacks; and yet the state of Mississippi could not try him successfully because of entrenched white racism. More than a chronicle of a single lynching, Blood Justice is also an indelible portrait of a time in turmoil.

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About the Author:


Howard Smead is a lecturer in History and Afro-American Studies at the University of Maryland and Director of Night Research at The Washington Post.

Review:


"An engaging study of a shocking crime. It will be a revelation to students reared in our own time with more enlightened views on race. I'm sure most students will find this book a real page-turner."--Daniel P. Murphy, Hanover College


"A brutal yet compelling document of a troubled time."--Booklist


"This meticulous account of an almost forgotten event fills a significant gap in the history of the civil rights era."--The Washington Post Book World


"An excellent account of intense white racism in a small Southern town."--Library Journal


"There have been many accounts of lynchings, but Howard Smead's ranks among the very best....Brilliantly told."--Bertram Wyatt-Brown, University of Florida


"Based on previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department documents, extensive interviews with those involved in the case and newspaper reports, Howard Smead objectively depicts the harrowing account of vigilante revenge and the failure of the authorities to effect justice."--Los Angeles Times Book Review


"Not only an important book, but one that is well written. It reads more like a fast-paced crime novel than a true story....Required reading for anyone seeking to know more about the unreconstructed South of the days prior to the Civil Rights movement."--Louisiana History


"Smead reconstructs the case with impressive thoroughness and objectivity, providing an intimate look at the dynamics of a Southern lynch mob. A terrible yet gripping story."--Publishers Weekly


"Gripping in detail, meticulous in research, fair in analysis....Blood Justice is the best book this reviewer has read in the genre of lynch histories."--Florida Historical Quarterly


"Smead sheds additional light on yet another chapter in the dark and turbulent history of the Magnolia state....This extremely readable book makes a valuable contribution to southern and black history."--Georgia Historical Quarterly


"A moving account of one of America's last lynchings."--Journal of Southern History


"An excellent study of race prejudice and violence at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement."--L. Lenburg, Mars Hill College


"A revelation of social attitudes in a deep South town, Blood Justice is written in an interesting fashion."--Cline E. Hall, Liberty University


"An excellent, thorough book. I admire Smead's meticulous research. As good as McGovern's Anatomy."--Associate Professor M. Bellesiles, Emory University


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9780195054293: Blood Justice: The Lynching of Mack Charles Parker

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ISBN 10:  0195054296 ISBN 13:  9780195054293
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1988
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