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Researching Injustice: Telling the Story of Legal Lynching in Jim Crow Birmingham

Monday, April 09, 2018,

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  • Location: Buttrick Hall, Room 102
  • Room: room 102

Dr. Melanie S. Morrison will recount what compelled her to research the case of Willie Peterson and will discuss the methodological challenges inherent in unearthing forgotten stories.

Dr. Morrison's newest bookMurder on Shades Mountain: The Legal Lynching of Willie Peterson and the Struggle for Justice in Jim Crow Birmingham, will be available for signing and purchase. This riveting account of Jim Crow-era injustice exposes how courtrooms could function like lynch mobs when the defendant was black. Through scrupulous investigation of primary sources, Dr. Morrison sheds new light on the struggle for justice in Depression-era Birmingham. Murder on Shades Mountain is a testament to the courageous predecessors of present-day movements that demand an end to racial profiling, police brutality, and the criminalization of black men.

Melanie S. Morrison is founder and executive director of Allies for Change. She has a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is the author of The Grace of Coming Home: Spirituality, Sexuality, and the Struggle for Justice and her writing has appeared in numerous periodicals.