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Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story

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Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Daddy and Roger and 'em shot 'em a nigger."

Those words, whispered to ten-year-old Tim Tyson by one of his playmates in the late spring of 1970, heralded a firestorm that would forever transform the small tobacco market town of Oxford, North Carolina.

On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a 23-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel, a rough man with a criminal record and ties to the Ku Klux Klan, and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased Marrow, beat him unmercifully, and killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. In the words of a local prosecutor: "They shot him like you or I would kill a snake."

Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets, led by 22-year-old Ben Chavis, a future president of the NAACP. As mass protests crowded the town square, a cluster of returning Vietnam veterans organized what one termed "a military operation." While lawyers battled in the courthouse that summer in a drama that one termed "a Perry Mason kind of thing," the Ku Klux Klan raged in the shadows and black veterans torched the town's tobacco warehouses.

With large sections of the town in flames, Tyson's father, the pastor of Oxford's all-white Methodist church, pressed his congregation to widen their vision of humanity and pushed the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away.

Years later, historian Tim Tyson returned to Oxford to ask Robert Teel why he and his sons had killed Henry Marrow. "That nigger committed suicide, coming in here wanting to four-letter-word my daughter-in-law," Teel explained.

The black radicals who burned much of Oxford also told Tim their stories. "It was like we had a cash register up there at the pool hall, just ringing up how much money we done cost these white people," one of them explained. "We knew if we cost 'em enough goddamn money they was gonna start changing some things."

In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Done Sign My Name is a classic work of conscience, a defining portrait of a time and place that we will never forget. Tim Tyson's riveting narrative of that fiery summer and one family's struggle to build bridges in a time of destruction brings gritty blues truth, soaring gospel vision, and down-home humor to our complex history, where violence and faith, courage and evil, despair and hope all mingle to illuminate America's enduring chasm of race.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

Thirty years after the murder of a black man by a Klansman and his acquittal by an all-white jury, the author returns to his hometown of Oxford, North Carolina, to make sense of what happened, interweaving his own childhood memories and the real world of modern-day Oxford with interviews with participants on both sides, shedding new light on the struggle for racial justice. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

From the Publisher: "Daddy and Roger and 'em shot 'em a nigger." Those words, whispered to ten-year-old Tim Tyson by a playmate, heralded a firestorm that would forever transform the tobacco market town of Oxford, North Carolina. On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a twenty-three-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased and beat Marrow, then killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets. While lawyers battled in the courthouse, the Klan raged in the shadows and black Vietnam veterans torched the town's tobacco warehouses. Tyson's father, the pastor of Oxford's all-white Methodist church, urged the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away. Tim Tyson's riveting narrative of that fiery summer brings gritty blues truth, soaring gospel vision, and down-home humor to a shocking episode of our history. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Done Sign My Name is a classic portrait of an unforgettable time and place.

About the Author

Timothy B. Tyson is a professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison

Table of Contents

1: Baptism — 2: Original sins — 3: Too close not to touch — 4: Miss Amy's witness — 5: King Jesus and Dr King — 6: Death of Henry Morrow — 7: Drinkin' that freedom wine — 8: Our "other South" — 9: Cash register at the pool hall — 10: Perry Mason in the shoeshine parlor — 11: We all have our own stories — 12: Go back to the last place where you knew who you were — Epilogue: Blood done sign my name — Author's note — Notes on sources — Acknowledgments.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307419934
Subtitle:
A True Story
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press
Author:
Tyson, Timothy B.
Author:
Timothy B. Tyson
Subject:
General
Subject:
United States - State & Local - South
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor
Subject:
History
Subject:
Trials (Murder)
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Crime-General
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Subject:
World History-General
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Subject:
African American Studies-General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20050503
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
355

Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » African American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story
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Product details 355 pages Crown Publishing Group - English 9780307419934 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Thirty years after the murder of a black man by a Klansman and his acquittal by an all-white jury, the author returns to his hometown of Oxford, North Carolina, to make sense of what happened, interweaving his own childhood memories and the real world of modern-day Oxford with interviews with participants on both sides, shedding new light on the struggle for racial justice. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , From the Publisher: "Daddy and Roger and 'em shot 'em a nigger." Those words, whispered to ten-year-old Tim Tyson by a playmate, heralded a firestorm that would forever transform the tobacco market town of Oxford, North Carolina. On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a twenty-three-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased and beat Marrow, then killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets. While lawyers battled in the courthouse, the Klan raged in the shadows and black Vietnam veterans torched the town's tobacco warehouses. Tyson's father, the pastor of Oxford's all-white Methodist church, urged the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away. Tim Tyson's riveting narrative of that fiery summer brings gritty blues truth, soaring gospel vision, and down-home humor to a shocking episode of our history. Like To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Done Sign My Name is a classic portrait of an unforgettable time and place.
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