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Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story Paperback – May 3, 2005
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In August 1970, I was a young photographer on the weekend shift at the Raleigh News and Observer. An assignment came in to meet a reporter in a small town north of Raleigh. No details. Just meet the reporter.
When I got into Oxford, the reporter told me a man would soon be testifying in a murder trial and that he needed a photo of that man. I parked across from the Courthouse. I put a 200 mm lens on my Nikon motor drive and waited. Soon a police vehicle pulled up with a single man in the back. As the man exited the car, I climbed out and got ready to make the picture.
As luck would have it, the man had a newspaper covering his face. He walked a few steps, dropped the paper, and looked straight at me. I took the photo and got out of town.
The next morning, I was ordered to return to Oxford. Big mistake. The photo of the third killer appeared on front page on the local newstands, and this did not go well with the locals. The verdict came and the streets emptied. I took a last photograph as a line of police officers passed me on the street. Moments later they were back surrounding me. One pulled a knife and poked me in the stomach. The older man with the knife started to tell me I was at my end. I don't know what made me say I only made $2.00 an hour. The redneck just looked at me and said I was an idiot to risk my life for $2.00 and I agreed. They let me go.
Shortly afterward, I got to my car and hit the road south. A group of locals followed me in a truck while I was flat out in my Ford Pinto. I laugh these days when I think about that longhair photographer being chased down the highway at full speed.Read more ›
As someone who shares Tyson's roots in rural North Carolina, I find it particularly important to rediscover "the other South" - the South that has been systematically expunged from history. Tyson discusses the banished history of white resistance to slavery and racial segregation during the Civil War and Reconstruction. How many of us know about the "Red Strings," a secret society of anti-Confederate guerrillas and saboteurs in North Carolina? Tyson briefly recounts perhaps the most important historical event in North Carolina, the 1898 massacre of African Americans in Wilmington that overthrew Reconstruction there (and about which Tyson has also written a separate book). As Tyson lucidly explains, white supremacists and neo-Confederates have ignored all evidence to the contrary to make "enthusiasm for the Confederacy posthumously unanimous." This rewriting of history is profoundly personal for Tyson.Read more ›
Tyson not only writes about the tragic event that changed his life (and the history of his hometown) when he was 10, but he also shares some of the history of the Black Freedom movement and the history of his own family, and the way it has affected him throughout his life.
What I thought was particularly interesting was how the U.S. has sanitized the history of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in particular. When he was killed, Ronald Reagan actually had the gall to imply that he brought it on himself because of his lack of respect for law and order, and he accused the anti-war protestors for the assasination!
I was particularly touched by the stories about Tyson's amazing parents and feisty relatives, and others who stood up for justice and compassion. Tyson also writes openly about his angst and struggles to come to grips with his own prejudices.
I will recommend this book to everyone I know--I believe that it's a book that every American needs to read, to better understand the history of race relations in this country and how far we have yet to go.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is very interesting. It is honest and brutal about the historical nature of interactions between blacks and whites. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sandra
Wonderfully written book by an author who gets it all historically correct! Best non-fiction I've read in a very long time!Published 2 months ago by Nick K
Well-written book. Sad to read. I am familiar with Oxford and it was really interesting to read and place what was happening.Published 2 months ago by Jo's Mom
Well-researched, expertly-written true story of race relations and murder in small-town North Carolina in the 1970s.Published 3 months ago by John Morris