The Rope: A True Story of Murder, Heroism, and the Dawn of the NAACP

Alex Tresniowski. 37 Ink, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-982114-02-2
In this vivid history, journalist Tresniowski (coauthor, The Foundling) intertwines the story of journalist Ida B. Wells’s anti-lynching crusade with the case of a Black man wrongfully accused of murder in 1910. Between 1882 and 1968, Tresniowski notes, nearly 3,500 African Americans were lynched in the U.S. In speeches, articles, and a book, Wells documented the killings and pushed for a federal anti-lynching law. After a white mob destroyed her newspaper’s offices in Memphis, Tenn., in 1892, Wells moved to New York and then Illinois, where she stopped a white sheriff from getting his job back after he failed to prevent the lynching of a Black prisoner. Wells also helped to create the NAACP, whose lawyers worked to free innocent Black men, including Tom Williams, who was accused of murdering 10-year-old Marie Smith in Asbury Park, N.J. Tresniowksi paints a colorful portrait of private detective Raymond Schindler, who was hired by the Asbury Park police and a local businessman to investigate the murder, and skillfully builds momentum as Schindler attempts to elicit a confession from his prime suspect before Williams stands trial. This thrilling true crime story documents a critical chapter in the crusade against racial violence in America. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/29/2020
Release date: 02/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-1941-0
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