Cover image for The trial of the Scottsboro boys
The trial of the Scottsboro boys
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Greensboro, N.C. : Morgan Reynolds Pub., c2007.
Physical Description:
128 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.
The train from Chattanooga -- Jim Crow "justice" -- Death sentence -- Communist influence -- All the way to the Supreme Court -- Judge Horton's skepticism -- Bigotry on the bench -- Back to the high court -- The final trials -- Freedom.
Reading Level:
1180 L Lexile


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 345.761 ARE 1 1

On Order



In 1931, while America was in the grips of the Great Depression, nine young black men fought with a group of white men while hoboing on a train near Scottsboro, Alabama. When police arrived to-arrest them at the train's next stop, the nine knew they were in trouble - but they had no idea just how much. Unbeknownst to them, two women who were also aboard the train told the police that the nine black men had assaulted and raped them. Evidence suggested that there was little truth to this accusation, but local police and citizenry, enraged at the idea of black men violating white women, immediately rounded up and arrested the nine black men, dubbing them the Scottsboro Boys. The Boys were quickly found guilty and sentenced to die in subsequent trials, but the lack of convincing evidence, and the blatant injustice of the rushed trials, outraged people nationwide. Soon the Scottsboro Boys were being fought for by the NAACP, socialists, and even President Franklin Roosevelt. They were all up against a powerful enemy - the deeply corrupt and racist justice system of Jim Crow-era Alabama. The trials and struggles for justice would carry on for years and change the face of justice and civil rights in America. Book jacket.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-The case of the Scottsboro Boys was a racial cause cilebre in the 1930s. Nine young black men between the ages of 13 and 20 were accused of rape by two white women. They were immediately arrested, tried by an all-white male jury in Alabama, and sentenced to death. Aretha writes clearly, with objectivity and compassion, allowing for the many flaws of the poorly educated young men themselves and highlighting the background infighting of those purporting to be on their side. The book is organized around the case's progression through the various appeals courts. In the process, the author helps readers understand the plight of the defendants, who languished in jail under barbaric conditions. Historical photographs are included throughout, and a time line helps clarify some of the more confusing events. A must for libraries seeking to enhance their African-American history collections.-Carol Jones Collins, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

The account of how nine black youths were arrested in Alabama in 1931, falsely accused of raping two white women on a train, and sentenced to death is a horrific story of racism, poverty, and of public, sanctioned cruelty. Part of the Civil Rights series, this volume clearly describes a time when street mobs in the Jim Crow South spoke openly of lynching, while the innocent youths, denied adequate legal defense and due process, were convicted by all-white juries and suffered in prison for years. Aretha details the furor of national and international protest against the trial, and the roles of the NAACP and the Communist ILD, which stood up in the defense of the youths. News photos throughout show the accused, the accusers, and the defenders, including lawyer Samuel Leibovitz. The back matter is excellent; there are full chapter source notes and a bibliography of books, articles, and Web sites. The youth of the accused in this tragic story will bring teen readers to the big issues.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2007 Booklist

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Train From Chattanoogap. 9
Chapter 2 Jim Crow "Justice"p. 19
Chapter 3 Death Sentencep. 30
Chapter 4 Communist Influencep. 42
Chapter 5 All the Way to the Supreme Courtp. 51
Chapter 6 Judge Horton's Skepticismp. 63
Chapter 7 Bigotry on the Benchp. 75
Chapter 8 Back to the High Courtp. 81
Chapter 9 The Final Trialsp. 89
Chapter 10 Freedomp. 98
Timelinep. 111
Sourcesp. 115
Bibliographyp. 121
Web sitesp. 124
Indexp. 126