Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas

Front Cover
Pantheon Books, 2002 - Social Science - 225 pages
On June 7, 1998, James Byrd, Jr., a forty-nine-year-old black man, was dragged to his death while chained to the back of a pickup truck driven by three young white men. It happened just outside of Jasper, a sleepy East Texas logging town that, within twenty-four hours of the discovery of the murder, would be inextricably linked in the nation’s imagination to an exceptionally brutal, modern-day lynching.

In this superbly written examination of the murder and its aftermath, award-winning journalist Joyce King brings us on a journey that begins at the crime scene and extends into the minds of the young men who so casually ended a man’s life. She takes us inside the prison in which two of them met for the first time, and she shows how it played a major role in shaping their attitudes—racial and otherwise. The result is a deeply engrossing psychological portrait of the accused and a powerful indictment of the American prison system’s ability to reform criminals. Finally, King writes with candor and clarity about how the events of that fateful night have affected her—as a black woman, a native Texan, and a journalist given the agonizing assignment of covering the trials of all three defendants. More than a spectacular true-crime debut,Hate Crimeis a breathtaking work of reportage and a searing look at how the question of race continues to shape life in America.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - briannad84 - LibraryThing

Had to read this after I read more about the case from reading American Honor Killings. I do remember when this happened, and it sounded horrible then - but reading furthur into detail about what ... Read full review

HATE CRIME: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas

User Review  - Kirkus

Solidly reported by a Dallas-based journalist, the grim tale of the notorious 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr. and the ensuing legal and media drama.When three young white men dragged African-American ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

A former reporter and anchor for a CBS radio affiliate, Joyce King is an award-winning twenty-year broadcast veteran. She also writes guest columns and opinion pieces for USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Dallas Morning News. This is her first book. King lives in Dallas.

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