Monday, June 24, 2019

the last book I ever read (Casey Cep's Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, excerpt nine)

from Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep:

Tom’s daughters were placable; his wife was not. While he tried making light of everything that was happening, Madolyn became more worried and insisted on bringing the girls into their bedroom at night. She had them sleep on the floor, below the windows, where she hoped they’d be safe from anything that might come crashing through the glass. “George Wallace has planted a seed of fear around here and it’s frightening,” she told The Washington Post, which, together with The New York Times and many other newspapers, covered the harassment of the Radney family after the convention. “My husband is being condemned simply because he disagrees with those in power here, because he refuses to be a rubber stamp.”

She was right, of course, about Wallace and the vitriol he had stirred in so many Alabamians. As the Radneys knew, a tragic roster of activists and innocents had died for the crime of being black or supporting blacks in their state. There was Willie Edwards Jr., the truck driver forced off a bridge to his death by four Klansmen in Montgomery. There was William Lewis Moore, the man from Baltimore shot and killed in Attalla while trying to walk a letter denouncing segregation 385 miles to the governor of Mississippi. There were four young girls, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, killed by the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. There was thirteen-year-old Virgil Lamar Ware, shot to death on the handlebars of his brother’s bicycle in the same city. There was Jimmie Lee Jackson, beaten and shot by state troopers in Marion while he tried to protect his mother and grandfather during a protest. There was the Reverend James Reeb, the Unitarian minister beaten to death in Selma. There was Viola Gregg Liuzzo, shot by Klansmen while trying to ferry marchers between Selma and Montgomery. There was Willie Brewster, shot to death while walking home in Anniston. There was Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a seminarian registering black voters who was arrested for participating in a protest and then shot by a deputy sheriff in Hayneville. There was Samuel Leamon Younge Jr., murdered by a gas station owner after arguing about segregated restrooms.

No comments:

Post a Comment