Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

May I Have Your Attention Please

Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy B. Tyson

Stop what you're doing, and go get this book. Then clear your schedule because you won't be able to do anything else until you finish it.

There's a Tom Waits live album where he says, "To answer that, we're going to have to go all the way back to the Civil War." Tyson goes back even further than that to answer the question of why, on a night in 1970, a young black man named Henry Marrow was murdered by three white men in cold blood as he begged for his life, and how that, and everything that happened after was possible in a supposedly post-integration South.

And that's all I'm gonna say, because I don't think I can do the rest justice.

The main problem with "history" is that the word implies that it involves something that happened a long time ago, then never happened again, and that's kind of how it's studied. But Tyson takes a long, hard look in the spirit of Faulkner when he said, "The past is never over. It's not even past."

If you like...: books that change your life, this one is for you.


Gwen said...

I *love* this book. I assigned it in my race and ethnicity class, to a very good response.

The last chapter is heart-breaking.

Ang said...

I was thinking of assigning it for my own class - now I have to read it and have them read it, too. Thanks!