I you have a heart, this story will break it. This is a vivid reminder of the power and legacy of hate and discrimination.
In 1949, Florida's orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor. To maintain order and profits, they turned to Willis V. McCall, a violent sheriff who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old Groveland girl cried rape, McCall was fast on the trail of four young blacks who would be framed for the crime. By day's end, the Ku Klux Klan had rolled into town, burning the homes of blacks to the ground and chasing hundreds into the swamps, hell-bent on lynching the young men who came to be known as "the Groveland Boys."
Into this deadly fray came Thurgood Marshall, the man known as "Mr. Civil Rights," and the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP. Associates thought it was suicidal for him to wade into the "Florida Terror" at a time when he was irreplaceable to the burgeoning civil rights movement. But Marshall would not shrink from the fight--not after the Klan had murdered one of his NAACP associates involved with the case and Marshall had endured continual threats that he would be next.
When justice was finally done--in a case U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson decried as "one of the best examples of one of the worst menaces to American justice" it was snatched away in a fit of vengeance and murder.
Gilbert King won numerous awards for this book. Very well written.