Saturday, July 27, 2013

Paperback 677: Scottsboro Boy / Haywood Patterson and Earl Conrad (Bantam 920)

Paperback 677: Bantam 920 (1st ptg, 1951)

Title: Scottsboro Boy
Author: Haywood Patterson and Earl Conrad
Cover artist: Joseph Hirsch

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:
  • Tagline should probably be a bit more specific: "The Shocking Truth about Black Men in Prison on Charges of Raping White Girls in Ultra-Racist Alabama"
  • In case you didn't know, this case is super-famous in the history of Civil Rights.
  • I love how this is just a straight-up portrait, and all the drama is in the background details—white lawman with a club; "Alabama" and "South(ern?)" partially blocked by man's head; fittingly Black & White rail crossing guard sticking straight up; etc.
  • I like his suspenders.


Best things about this back cover:
  • I am unsure how I feel about the characterization "Jungle Conditions"—sounds sympathetic, but "jungle" is one of those words that hovers disparagingly around black people. All the time. I've been deep into 1923 newspapers this month, and I'm more familiar than I'd like to be with the vast and colorful language of racism.
  • Interesting to have an Alabama paper blurb this book.
  • Like the shadowed font on "Scottsboro Boy" here.
Page 123~
Merle had a funny sense of justice. He didn't want to see anybody injure anybody else. He'd kill the guy that injured the other one.
From now on, violence in the name of non-violence will be called "Merle Justice."


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