A Death in Texas: A Story of Race, Murder and a Small Town's by Dina Temple-Raston

By Dina Temple-Raston

A unprecedented account of ways a small Texas city struggled to come back to grips with its racist previous within the aftermath of the brutal homicide of James Byrd, Jr.

On June 7, 1998, a forty-nine-year-old black guy named James Byrd, Jr., was once chained to the bumper of a truck and dragged 3 miles down a rustic highway by means of a trio of younger white males. It didn't take lengthy for the citizens of Jasper, Texas, to profit in regards to the homicide or to fret that the identify in their city could develop into the nation's shorthand for hate crimes.

From the preliminary research in the course of the trials and their aftermath, A dying in Texas tells the tale of the notorious Byrd homicide as visible in the course of the eyes of enlightened Sheriff Billy Rowles. What he sees is a neighborhood compelled to confront not just a grisly crime but additionally antebellum traditions approximately race. Drawing on vast interviews with key avid gamers, journalist Dina Temple-Raston introduces a impressive solid of characters, from the baby-faced killer, invoice King, to Joe Tonahill, Jasper's white patriarch who can't comprehend the furor over the killing. There's additionally James Byrd, the hard-drinking sufferer together with his personal darkish previous; the prosecutor and protection lawyers; and invoice King's father, who's loss of life of a damaged middle as he awaits his son's execution.

Just as Bernard Lefkowitz pulled again the curtain on Glenridge, New Jersey, in his vintage paintings Our men, Temple-Raston is going backstage in Jasper, Texas, to inform the tale of a city the place racism and evil made itself at domestic

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Extra info for A Death in Texas: A Story of Race, Murder and a Small Town's Struggle for Redemption

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4 1 2 3 4 Kennedy 1978: 224. Steadman et al. 1996; Harrington forthcoming. 1991: 150, following Max Gluckman 1937. Pinch 1993: 339. 2. The cult of the ancestors 29 The establishment of mortuary cult seems to stem from two basic concepts: need to mark the individual as distinct from society,5 and the legitimation of rights and social identity by association with the past. 6 Ancestor cults and their related rituals are developments connected with sedentary, as opposed to nomadic, lifestyles. 7 In ‘delayed-return’ societies8 such as Egypt, where social continuity is of greater concern than in hunter-gatherer (‘immediate-return’) systems, ancestor cults and mortuary rituals form a type of ‘cultural cement’9 that assists in holding society together.

You fail to give an offering you owe them, commit incest with a woman too close in kinship and you may get away with it. Suddenly, years later, they pay you back with leprosy, a deformed child, or a dead cow. The dead are above all capricious, which makes them of great explanatory power. They fill the gaps in the process by which the world is made logical. While a corpse could not be reanimated, the deceased could be manifest in a form that possessed the power of movement, could be seen or experienced by the living and could communicate with them.

162 Hornung 1999: 125. 163 Allen 2005: 42. 164 Faulkner 1973: 90; de Buck 1961: 176–7. 165 Faulkner 1973: 108, de Buck 1961: 222. 166 Allen 174: 70. 167 See Assmann 1986 for a discussion of this term. 168 2007: 142, n. 56, citing Wolfhart 1967: 148–9. 169 Two species of lily were known to and depicted by the ancient Egyptians: Nymphaea cerulea Savigny (blue) and Nymphaea lotus Linnaeus Willdenow (white: Irvine and Trickett 1953: 363–4). The lotus (Nelumbo as opposed to Nymphaea) was not present in Egypt in the New Kingdom.

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