ACCUSED! by Larry Dane Brimner
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ACCUSED!

The Trials of the Scottsboro Boys: Lies, Prejudice, and the Fourteenth Amendment
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Brimner (Blacklisted!, 2018, etc.) revisits the history of injustice in America.

Brimner has extensively researched the heartbreaking story of the suffering and stolen futures of nine African American teens falsely accused of the rape of two white women in Alabama in 1931, laying all the facts on the table in a concise, gripping volume. The engaging, easy-to-follow text will draw readers into a historical account that mirrors many of today’s headlines. Ultimately, it took over 80 years for justice to finally be served for these young men; they were not fully exonerated until 2013. In the meantime, they were nearly lynched, attacked and beaten by guards, and faced execution. Even after they were released from prison, their lives were ruined, and they were never able to fully recover. The text is enhanced with primary sources including photos, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and court documents that give readers a sense of immediacy. The author’s note provides context about the enduring impact of the trials. This volume stands as a reminder to readers that lies have consequences and that no matter how long it takes, “We need to right the wrongs that have been done in the past.” The parallels between the perils the Scottsboro Boys endured and current news stories show the continued relevance of this history, making this a must-have for both school and public libraries.

Engaging and historically accurate; highly recommended. (author’s note, bibliography, source notes, index, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-62979-775-5
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2019