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on May 25, 2017
I love how the story tells things exactly the way they were in the rural south for African Americans. How we were objectify? Even how those of us who were educated were treated. We all know the story line of a black being accused of murdering a white. Death. But to get this man off, he attorney called him a pig. It is a moving story. My students will have to read.
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on October 22, 2016
A. short story about a man who thinks,so little about himself until he is pushed to carry out the wishes of his family and the preacher. As you read on there is the hope that the innocent individual will be free, in the end he prove he was not "just like a dog". He is set free by a man who felt trapped in the community he was working and living in. Both me find meaning to there situation.
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on August 3, 2017
This was a book required for my daughter's English class. She stated she actually enjoyed reading the book, and would like me to read it so we can discuss it together.
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on July 31, 2015
This book is the required summer reading for my son's Freshman Honors English class. I try to read whatever my kids are required to read because my own high school left me sorely lacking in this arena - a deficiency I didn't realize until I'd sat down in my first English class in college 20-something years ago. This book is well written and insightful. I was thankful that it focused on the black-black relationships and culture of the 40's and didn't belabor the black-white relationships of the day. That angle gets tiresome after a while. I most enjoyed the "journal" portion of the book where the reader gets to see what Jefferson was thinking and how he expressed himself. I thank the author for that.
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on July 4, 2016
While there is no actual violence in the story in the book, it is based on the horrendous misuse of the "justice system" in the south in the 40's. A young black man, clearly innocent, is sent to the electric chair. It is a very, very hard story to read. I didn't understand why the author included a couple of chapters, but in general it was well written. I felt some characters we not well developed, but the scene was clear, and many in the story learned a "lesson before this death". I recommend it to the strong.
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on May 18, 2015
I read this in a book club. Normally this type of book is not my type. It's dark and heavy very deep and depressing and not an "active" to me. It has great meaning but I found it to be a downer and would must rather read. I enjoy a fast moving suspence thriller with action or a light happy thoughtless piece. I realize it is a "masterpiece" for it's time. But we've moved on.....at least I have.
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on March 24, 2015
We will be reading this book in my tenth grade Literature Studies class. The issues raised and themes addressed are exceptionally relevant to students. The subtle, yet powerful use of racialized language and inquiries regarding manhood/masculinity bring students to question their own opinions and practices. Discussions on the "n-word," prejudice in the justice system, and the death penalty help encourage students to be thoughtful, active citizens.

Along with the topics addressed, this book is great because it is an easy, accessible, engaging read. You could sit and read the whole story in a morning or two.
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on May 22, 2017
Both my daughter and I have loved this book. I bought it for a friend here.
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on August 14, 2017
Knowing where you have been, experiencing where you are, and improving on where you are going is what this book is offering. THIS IS TRULY WORTH READING. it give you a picture of OUR history and the struggles of what our parents went through to give us a better tomorrow.
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VINE VOICEon January 31, 2010
Time and Place: 1940's in Bayonne Louisiana

A young unintelligent black man named Jefferson, is present at a shop burglary of a white owned store. Two other black men and the white shop owner end up in a gun fight, and the three men end up dead. Jefferson is scared and confused as to what to do next. He grabs a bottle of liquor off the shelf, gulps down some whiskey, grabs some money out of the open register and runs. He was on his way out of the store with the bottle of whiskey and a pocket full of cash, when two white men catch him.

At the trial, the prosecutor stated that Jefferson along with the other two black men had intentionally gone to that store together and had planned the robbery together. The defense stated that Jefferson had simply been at the wrong place at the wrong time. There was absolutely no proof that there was any pre-planning with the other two black men. After all the shop owner only shot the other two men. He said that Jefferson, took the booze to calm his nerves and he took the money out of need and stupidity. That didn't make him a murderer. The defense attorney also asked the jury to look at Jefferson, and see that he was not really a man (yes he was 21) but not really a man. He asked them to look at the shape of his skull, his flat face, his empty eyes; he asked them if he looked like he had enough intelligence to plan anything, let alone a burglary. His argument was that this black man who knew of nothing more than plowing a field was not capable of such a crime, therefore to find him guilty and sentence him to death, would be like putting a hog in the electric chair.

The twelve white men that sat on the jury found Jefferson guilty of robbery and murder in the first degree. Jefferson was sentenced to death by electrocution.

Jefferson's godmother, Miss Emma asks Grant Wiggins, the young twenty-something college educated black teacher to help Jefferson die with dignity, like a man; not like a hog.

This was a great novel. It is books like this one, that are full of ideas, themes, and symbols, that leave me wishing I was a member of a book club, because after you are done, you just want to talk about it with somebody else that recently read it.

If you are thinking about reading this book, think no more...just read it!
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