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Arc of Justice A Saga of Race Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz AgeY Also caught up in the intense courtroom drama were legal giant Clarence Darrow and the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAAC. Boyle may be an academic historian but he writes like a novelist It takes a great story African Americans asserting their rights and defending them with guns and puts it into historical context There are no saintly heroes in this book but real sometimes conflicted peopleBasically it's about a young African American physician in Detroit in the early 1920s who wants to move out of his all black overcrowded neighborhood and buys a house in a white neighborhood After numerous threats and while holed up in his house surrounded by a menacing rock throwing crowd he organizes a group of friends to defend his home One of his friends fires into the crowd and kills a teenager He and his friends are tried for murder and the NAACP mobilizes support for him nationally while Clarence Darrow defends him in courtThe book debunks several widespread myths that the civil rights movement started with the Montgomery Bus Boycott and that it was a nonviolent movement before Robert Williams or Malcolm X or Stokely Carmichael Read it

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Mself resulting in the death of a white man and a murder trial for Sweet There followed one of the most important and shockingly unknown cases in Civil Rights histor. A fine history of a case I knew absolutely nothing about but now am off in search of info I recommend it very highly but keep in mind that this is not a novel but a history and that as such even though it moves uickly there are times when the author doesn't go from point A to point B as in a novel but stops to present factors that led up to this period in timeThe case in uestion begins in 1925 in Detroit when Dr Ossian Sweet and his wife move into a house that is outside the boundaries of the colored area I'm just using the terminology in the book here which was appropriate to the time period Ossian his wife Gladys Ossian's brother Henry some friends were over at the house all preparing to eat the first meal in their new house when a neighborhood mob moved in front of the house began pelting the house with stones etc They prepared themselves for the worst but nothing happened On the second night Ossian was ready He had gathered the same people a few at that time 11 total in the house and when the mob gathered again and the rocks started flying and actually broke windows in the house Henry whoever was upstairs with him started firing into the crowd killing one man wounding another The police took everyone in the house in custody eventually all 11 were charged with murder or conspiracy to commit murder The state contended that there was no mob at all and that Ossian's brother friends had fired into the crowd unprovoked killing a man Eventually the group was put into prison awaiting trial and were ultimately defended by Clarence Darrow That's the central case; what this book does is to examine the factors behind the allegations and to examine the motivation of Ossian's neighbors as they worked themselves into mob frenzy It also looks at racial attitudes on both sides of the coin prevalent at the time politics both locally in Detroit and nationally the use of this case by the NAACP among other issues In telling Ossian's story the author also goes into Ossian's family history as well as that of his wife Gladys from slavery onward and the history of racial attitudes both North and SouthFor example Boyle goes into great detail about the southern migration of blacks to the north and their attempts to escape Jim Crow only to find themselves victims of the same types of prejudices Specifically discussing Detroit the author goes into great detail explaining that the police department was filled with KKK members; he explains the economics behind why beyond the simple reason of prejudice white people did not want blacks in their neighborhoods and what happened to those African Americans who moved into those neighborhoods; he also goes into the politics involved in organizing a defense for the 11 accused battles fought based on this case against segregation in all aspects of lifeIt is really a captivating story backed up by personal interviews other primary sources as well as other references I definitely think if you are interested in the topics of segregation civil rights racial attitudes or the workings of the NAACP you will not want to miss this book

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DOWNLOAD Arc of Justice A Saga of Race Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age 100 æ The grandson of a slave Dr Ossian Sweet moved his family to an all white Detroit neighborhood in 1925 When his neighbors attempted to drive him out Sweet defended himself resulting in the death of a white man and a murder triThe grandson of a slave Dr Ossian Sweet moved his family to an all white Detroit neighborhood in 1925 When his neighbors attempted to drive him out Sweet defended hi. Arc of Justice by Kevin BoyleBoyle is a History Professor at Northwestern University and his book won the National Book Award for Non Fiction in 2004As the clerk of the court prepared to administer the jurors their oath the Great Defender Darrow leaned over the press table on the opposite side of the room “The case is won or lost now” he said sotto voce “The rest is window dressing”This is a phenomenal work of micro history I was born and raised in Michigan yet somehow I knew none of this story The setting is 1925 in Detroit and an accomplished doctor Ossian Sweet decides to move into a better upper middle class area of Detroit The neighborhood happens to be all white and Sweet is African American Even prior to moving in Sweet knows there will be trouble and he and his friends take some steps to defend themselves On the second day after moving in a massive white mob led by the KKK surrounds the completely dark house — the Sweets and friends are inside and are scared to death The mob’s aim is to run Sweet and his young family out of the neighborhood and if that doesn’t work then to lynch them Windows soon break and gunfire eruptsYet the story does not unfold in a manner that one expects and I won’t spoil it here In addition to providing extensive background on all the characters including the mayor and various civil rights leaders and providing historical context of Detroit in the 1920’s ie the Jazz Age much of the book takes place at the jail and in the courtroom And here is where Clarence Darrow enters the picture He comes to Sweet’s defense just a few weeks after the end of the Scopes Monkey Trial In this case that is at the heart of the book Darrow is at his best There are so many well placed uotes in the book that lend credence to claims that Darrow was the best courtroom lawyer of his time 5 stars Highly recommended There might even be enough sunshine here to restore one’s faith in humanity if you are a glass half full type of person The writing research and author’s commitment to tell a riveting story were exemplary Despite the fact that the title may sound like a sweeping saga on social justice this book is really a historical drama and completely digestible