Publication Date: January 5, 2021
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Ages 10 to 14, Grades 5 to 9
Scipio Africanus Jones—a self-taught attorney who was born enslaved—leads a momentous series of court cases to save twelve Black men who’d been unjustly sentenced to death.
In October 1919, a group of Black sharecroppers met at a church in an Arkansas village to organize a union. Bullets rained down on the meeting from outside. Many were killed by a white mob, and others were rounded up and arrested. Twelve of the sharecroppers were hastily tried and sentenced to death. Up stepped Scipio Africanus Jones, a self-taught lawyer who’d been born enslaved. Could he save the men’s lives and set them free? Through their in-depth research and consultation with legal experts, award-winning nonfiction authors Sandra and Rich Wallace examine the complex proceedings and an unsung African American early civil rights hero.
Story Locale: Hoop Spur, Phillips County, Arkansas.
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