©2004 Timothy B. Tyson; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a divison of Random House, Inc.
"Outstanding....Tyson's avoidance of stereotypes and simple answers brings a shameful recent era in our country's history to vivid life. This book deserves the largest possible audience." (Publishers Weekly)
Listening to Tyson describe the North Carolina of the 1960s, I was reminded how much the world has changed in the last half century. Ku Klux Klan rallies, widespread white supremacism, corrupt judicial systems -- that culture of hate is almost unrecognizeable today. In addition to solid history and a gripping true crime narrative, the book includes thoughtful sections on nonviolence. Tyson shows that much of the nonviolence movement of the 1960s was a myth, and that violence and physical force were necessary to change our culture. This book is filled with big ideas and big questions, but it is written in a plain style that is easy to understand. It is smart without being difficult. Highly recommended.
Dr. Tyson combines careful -- and compassionate -- research with personal experiences to display what it was like to live in Eastern North Carolina in the racial turbulent 1960s and 1970s. This is a very powerful book to hear in the intimacy of earphones.
Americans love their sanitized, After-School Special version of the civil rights movement, in which we've progressed inevitably from the bad old days of slavery to the modern day where racism is just the occasional gaffe that gets a news commentator fired or a few hicks wearing sheets way off in the boonies. Tim Tyson strips away this mythology in his story of a black man who was murdered in 1970 by a violent, mean-tempered white business owner, allegedly for flirting with his daughter-in-law. Six years after the Civil Rights Act, Oxford, North Carolina was still a segregated town where white supremacy ruled, unapologetically. But when the all-white jury acquitted Robert Teal even of any lesser charge like manslaughter, the town's African American population rose up in outrage, and Oxford's businesses burned.
Decades later, Tyson, who was eleven years old at the time, and whose father was a liberal white desegregationist minister who was subsequently driven out of town, came back to interview everyone involved, including the murderer, Robert Teal. Blood Done Sign My Name is the result of that project, but it's also a look at how Americans have always lied to themselves about our country's race relations, and continue to do so to this day. Slave owners said, "Our slaves are like part of the family." In the 1990s, Tyson took a group of students to a Southern plantation that had been the site of a bloody slave uprising, and found it turned into an antebellum theme park with hardly any mention of slavery. The murder of Henry Marrow is really just a small part of this story.
This book was what became Tyson's Master's thesis, and it's powerful and engaging and contains many truths that still bear repeating, over and over.
I was given a copy of this book many years ago. I had never really read it. I have been moved beyond words. This book takes you through the full range of human emotion from sickening to hope in humanity. The raw honesty and willingness to dig deep and face the truth of our history is such a rare find.
No. Why would I?
Hard to decide
Also hard to say
No it was too long for that.
This is a very good book about so much more than a killing.
Yes. This book was well-done, depicting the complex relationships between blacks and whites in the South, and taking away the sunshine and rainbows of nonviolent resistance in the Civil Rights era. It is also a family history... a very personal one. Mr. Tyson got many interviews with many people who affected his life, and that made it more personal than a true crime book or a political commentary, and more well-rounded than a family biography - though it is all three.
All of the personal recollections of racism were very moving.
The father - Vernon Tyson
This book is well read and a must read/listen for everyone in America.
The story reveals great insight on the very recent history of American Civil Rights and the all too prominent American Amnesia.
This book is very timely and well written. Easy to listen to in a car, and it will keep you awake on those long drives.
This book is very good at putting a person to sleep. If one has an insomniac problem then this would rid you of it immediately. After reading one page...not even...a half a page one falls asleep. It is a very hard book to get into and to tell the truth i could not get into it at all...and i usually can get into books very easily.
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