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Lane, Charles. The day freedom died; the Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the betrayal of Reconstruction.

LANE, Charles. The day freedom died; the Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the betrayal of Reconstruction. Read by Jim Bond. 11 cds. 13 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2008. 978-1-4233-6072-8. $107.25. Vinyl; content, reader notes. SA

This hard look at Reconstruction in the post-Civil War era focuses on the village of Colfax in Grant Parish, Louisiana, but similar attitudes and actions pervaded the South. The book's subtitle describes the topics well. The text is well organized, well written, and easy to follow. Lane vividly describes the cold-blooded Colfax Massacre of more than 80 black men through the eyes of passengers embarking from a steamboat in Colfax the evening after the slaughter. He then discusses the political scene and events that led up to the event on April 13, 1873 and the action taken by the government. The US Attorney's office attempted to capture and punish the wrongdoers.

Lane takes the listener though the court system, where high school civics courses come alive. Listeners will find out about "loose" and "strict" interpretations of the US Constitution and court decisions (e.g., Plessey vs. Ferguson) that limited the civil rights of African Americans until the 1960s. This powerful, accessible account of a dark time in our nation's history, when murder, lynching, arson, beatings, secret organizations, and other forms of intimidation and terrorism were common, is long overdue. Riveting. Prof. John E. Boyd, Jenkintown, PA

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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Author:Boyd, John E.
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:273
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