Blood Done Sign My Name

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Set in his hometown of Oxford, North Carolina, Tyson chronicles the events following the public murder of Henry Marrow, a black Vietnam veteran. The murderers were a white store owner, Robert Teel and his son Larry. Robert Teel’s stepson also played a role in the murder. The pair justified their actions by saying that Marrow made inappropriate comments to Larry’s wife. Tyson was ten years old at the time of the event, yet he calls this event a turning point of his life. Following the murder, in which Marrow was beaten and shot twice, once in the leg and once in the head, the town is in an uproar. The Teels, even with witnesses to the murder and a confession from Teel’s stepson, are acquitted of the charges. The black residents of the town hold protests and rallies in the streets, while the Ku Klux Klan becomes active. As a final protest, black townsfolk burn much of Oxford, including tobacco barns, causing massive amounts of property damage and loss of profitable tobacco. Tyson recounts not only actual historical events, but includes his own family history as well. He is the son of a Methodist minister who urged integration and was long a defender of equal racial rights. The views he held caused the entire Tyson family to be forced to leave Oxford. I thought this book was kind of racists in way since it does say the word “Nigger” a lot. I grew up knowing that’s something wrong to say. But also the timing of this book was back when black and whites were split up and not treated equally. I do have to say though this is one of the greatest books I have read since the plot and the story telling was very real. One of the scenes in the book where I could picture what the author was saying was when the black guy ran out of the store and the store owners came out and shot him in PUBLIC. I cant believe he was shot in public. Times have changed and by reading stories like this one we can learn from the past and our mistakes and improve and move forward from this....
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