Our Town

Our Town

A Heartland Lynching, A Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America

Book - 2006 | 1st ed
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"The brutal lynching of two young black men in Marion, Indiana, on August 7, 1930, cast a shadow over the town that still lingers. It is only one event in the long and complicated history of race relations in Marion, a history much ignored and considered by many to be best forgotten. But the lynching cannot be forgotten. It is too much a part of the fabric of Marion, too much ingrained even now in the minds of those who live there. In Our Town journalist Cynthia Carr explores the issues of
race, loyalty, and memory in America through the lens of a specific hate crime that occurred in Marion but could have happened anywhere." "Like everyone in Marion, Carr knew the basic details of the lynching even as a child: three black men were arrested for attempted murder and rape, and two of them were hanged in the courthouse square, a fate the third miraculously escaped. Meeting James Cameron - the man who'd survived - led her to examine how the quiet Midwestern town she loved could
harbor such dark secrets. Spurred by the realization that, like her, millions of white Americans are intimately connected to this hidden history, Carr began an investigation into the events of that night, racism in Marion, the presence of the Ku Klux Klan - past and present - in Indiana, and her own grandfather's involvement. She uncovered a pattern of white guilt and indifference, of black anger and fear that are the hallmark of race relations across the country."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0517705060
Branch Call Number: 305.896073 CAR
Characteristics: x, 501 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm


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Aug 25, 2006

The sudden impact of the picture of two men hanging from a tree while people pointed, laughed, looked stunned or turned their back was one which had been in my social studies text book in grade twelve. There was no true explanation other than the words In the American South, lynchings were commonplace until the first half of the 20th century. Where was this place? Who were these people? How could this be happening in the 20th century? Then I discovered this book. It was on the night of August 7, 1930 in Marion, Indiana, that this stunningly cruel event occurred. But what has become more stunning is that for the people of Marion, the emotions brought forward by the lynching has dogged their town ever since. And what is more horrific for me than the initial view of the infamous photo is the fact that we are all implicated in such acts because we have turned our backs on the hatred, ignorance, and fear that is at the bottom of it all. The author said it best: We were blind. We let it happen.


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