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Black Trials

Best Seller
Black Trials by Mark S. Weiner
Paperback $18.95
Jan 03, 2006 | ISBN 9780375708848

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  • Jan 03, 2006 | ISBN 9780375708848

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  • Dec 18, 2007 | ISBN 9780307425034

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“The choices that Weiner makes . . . reveal not a little bravery of the intellectual variety . . . [He] is excellent at spinning these yarns. He creates genuine drama.”
–Justin Driver, The New Republic

“Serious, deeply felt . . . This book is the best of its kind.”
Publishers Weekly

“A withering indictment of U.S. legal history, most notably for its role in the civic exile of black Americans.  The book is especially timely in the aftermath of another divisive national campaign over American identity, at home and abroad.”-The Washington Post Book World

“Lively and enlightening….Weiner’s book rises above most scholarly efforts because of his girl for storytelling….Highly accessible and fascinating.”-The American Lawyer


American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award WINNER 2005

Table Of Contents


Introduction: Rituals of Citizenship

Part One: Colonial Visions, 1619–1773

The Birth of Black Trials

1. Let Us Make a Tryal
(Joseph Hanno and Cotton Mather, Boston, 1721)

2. This Villainous Conspiracy
(The Great Negro Plot, New York, 1741)

3. Air Too Pure
(Somerset’s Case, London, 1772)

Part Two: White Republic, 1776–1849

National Identity on Trial

4. I Should Not Turn Her Out
(Crandall v. Connecticut, Hartford, 1833)

5. All We Want Is Make Us Free
(The Amistad,Washington, 1841)

6. Christian Witness
( Jones v. Van Zandt, Cincinnati, 1847)

Part Three: New Americans, 1850–1896


7. The Law of Blood
(John Brown, Virginia, 1859)

8. Original Purity
(The Ku Klux Klan Trials, South Carolina, 1871)

9. In the Nature of Things
(The Civil Rights Cases, California, 1883, and
Plessy v. Ferguson, Louisiana, 1896)

Part Four: Uplift the Race, 1903–1970

Overcoming Jim Crow

10. Black, White, and Red
(The Scottsboro Boys, Alabama, 1931)

11. Hearts and Minds
(Brown v. Board of Education, Kansas, 1954)

12. To Die for the People
(Huey Newton, California, 1968)

Part Five: After Caste, 1991–2004


13. Confirmation
(Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas, Washington, 1991)

14. Statistics and Citizenship
(Mumia Abu-Jamal, Philadelphia, 2001)


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