Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town

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PublicAffairs, Sep 12, 2006 - History - 304 pages
This true story of race and injustice in a small west Texas town "resembles... a modern day To Kill a Mockingbird--or would, that is, if the novel were a true story and Atticus had won" (New York Times Book Review)

In the summer of 1999, in the tiny west Texas town of Tulia, thirty-nine people, almost all of them black, were arrested and charged with dealing powdered cocaine. At trial, the prosecution relied almost solely on the uncorroborated, and contradictory, testimony of one police officer. Despite the flimsiness of the evidence against them, virtually all of the defendants were convicted and given sentences as high as ninety-nine years.

Winner of the J. Anthony Lukas prize for excellence in nonfiction, Tulia is the story of this town, the bust, the trials, and the heroic legal battle that ultimately led to the reversal of the convictions. But the story is much bigger than the tale of just one bust. As Tulia makes clear, these events are the latest chapter in a story with themes as old as the country itself. It is a gripping, marvelously well-told tale about injustice, race, poverty, hysteria, and desperation in rural America.

 

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User Review  - santhony - LibraryThing

Coming from a small South Arkansas town, I had mixed emotions reading this book. As a licensed attorney, the obvious abuses of criminal and constitutional law are indeed disturbing. I am not without ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dchaikin - LibraryThing

The author wrote the Texas Observer article that broke this story open. (A large percentage of the black population of a small Texas town was arrested, and many were convicted, for dealing in illegal ... Read full review

Contents

PART TWO
75
PART THREE
179
PART FOUR
231
PART FIVE
279
SUMMER 2005
399
TULIA DEFENDANTS
409
A Reading Group Guide forTulia
419
NOTES
425
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
441
INDEX
445
Nate Blakeslee
458
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Nate Blakeslee is the author of American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West and Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Texas Institute of Letters best book of nonfiction prize. Blakeslee is a contributing writer for Texas Monthly, where he served as a senior editor for nine years, writing about politics, criminal justice, and environmental issues. Previously, he was the editor of The Texas Observer. Blakeslee was born and raised in Arlington, Texas. He has a Masters of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Austin with his wife and their two children.

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