Event address: 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514
For their Community Read on Friday, November 5, the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition (OCCRC) along with the Northern Orange NAACP will be reading Devil in the Groove by Dr. Gilbert King. Support your local independent bookstore by purchasing your copy of Devil in the Groove from Flyleaf Books!
This will be an in-person event with limited seating for up to twenty-five guests. Click here for the livestream available via Zoom with co-partners Carolina Public Humanities. This panel discussion will be moderated by James Williams and will feature Dr. Deborah Stroman, Dr. Freddie Parker and Judge Hathaway Pendergrass.
Flyleaf is happy to offer a 20% discount on The Devil in the Groove for members of the OCCRC & The Northern Orange NAACP. Just mention in the order comments online or in person that you’re a member of one of these organizations, and we will adjust the charge before processing your order. You can also come by the store and pick up your copy today; we’re open for browsing every day.
Arguably the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in an explosive and deadly case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life.
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 dared to envision a future for themselves beyond the citrus groves. 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.” And so began the chain of events that would bring Thurgood Marshall, the man known as “Mr. Civil Rights,” into the deadly fray. Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI’s unredacted Groveland case files, as well as unprecedented access to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund files, King shines new light on this remarkable civil rights crusader.
Gilbert King has written about U.S. Supreme Court history for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine’s history blog, Past Imperfect. He is the author of The Execution of Willie Francis: Race, Murder, and the Search for Justice in the American South. He lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.
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