Monday, February 14, 2011

No Justice

Two authors illuminate how little justice African Americans received from the U.S. court system in the decades following the Civil War.

In this captivating true story, The Day Freedom Died, Mr. Lane tells about the horrific events that happened on Easter Sunday in Colfax, LA, in 1873 and the subsequent legal battles that ensued. In an attempt to defend the legitimate officeholders for the parish, between 50-80 African American men were brutally murdered by a mob of white men. The case against the murderers went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but those who committed the massacre were acquitted and never punished for their actions.

In another equally disturbing title Inherently Unequal: The Betrayal of Equal Rights by the Supreme Court, 1865-1903, Mr. Goldstone details how the U.S. Supreme Court, through its decisions on specific cases and laws, failed to uphold the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution. The case that involved the massacre in Colfax, LA, is covered in the book along with more well-known cases like Plessy vs. Ferguson. The author also discusses the impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions had on African Americans living in the South during this period.

Both of these titles can be found in the Sullivan University Library and Learning Resource Center, and a librarian will be glad to assist you in finding them. Click on the title of the book to find book reviews and other information.

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