cover of book
 

Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America’s Civil Rights Murders
by Renee C. Romano
Harvard University Press, 2014
Cloth: 978-0-674-05042-6 | Paper: 978-0-674-97603-0 | eISBN: 978-0-674-73617-7
Library of Congress Classification KF221.M8R66 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 345.7302523

ABOUT THIS BOOK | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

Few whites who violently resisted the civil rights struggle were charged with crimes in the 1950s and 1960s. But the tide of a long-deferred justice began to change in 1994, when a Mississippi jury convicted Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 murder of Medgar Evers. Since then, more than one hundred murder cases have been reopened, resulting in more than a dozen trials. But how much did these public trials contribute to a public reckoning with America’s racist past? Racial Reckoning investigates that question, along with the political pressures and cultural forces that compelled the legal system to revisit these decades-old crimes.

“[A] timely and significant work…Romano brilliantly demystifies the false binary of villainous white men like Beckwith or Edgar Ray Killen who represent vestiges of a violent racial past with a more enlightened color-blind society…Considering the current partisan and racial divide over the prosecution of police shootings of unarmed black men, this book is a must-read for historians, legal analysts, and journalists interested in understanding the larger meanings of civil rights or racially explosive trials in America.”
—Chanelle Rose, American Historical Review

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