Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

February Books 14) The Lyncher In Me, by Warren Read

This is a fascinating book. Subtitled "A Search for Redemption in the Face of History", it chronicles the research of Warren Read, an elementary school teacher from Washington State, into the June 1920 lynching of three black men in Duluth, Minnesota, accused of a rape that had not actually happened. To his horror, Read discovered while doing some online genealogical research that his own great-grandfather was jailed for inciting the riot. His exploration of that hot summer night in Duluth goes in parallel with exploring his own childhood experiences (his own father was also jailed, for raping his step-sister) and teasing out the unspoken parts of his own family's history. In one particularly moving chapter he visits the home town of one of the lynched men, and gives his own testimony at the local church. It's actually quite a short book, but passionate in its detailed analysis.

It's not an area of history that I would normally have sought out, were it not for the peculiar coincidence that the author turned up in one of my occasional googlings for people born the same day as me (26 April 1967), and thus as a result of an internet search I got hold of a book which was itself inspired by an internet search.
Tags: bookblog 2009, people: my twins

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