The Eyes of Willie Mcgee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-05-10
  • Publisher: Harpercollins

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In 1945, a young African-American man from Laurel, Mississippi, was sentenced to death for allegedly raping Willette Hawkins, a white housewife. The case was barely noticed until Bella Abzug, a young New York labor lawyer, was hired to oversee Willie McGee's appeal. Together with William Patterson, a dedicated black reformer, Abzug risked her life to plead the case. ˘Free Willie McGee÷ became an international rallying cry, with supporters flooding President Truman's White House and the U.S. Supreme Court with clemency pleas and famous Americans-including William Faulkner, Albert Einstein, and Norman Mailer-speaking out on McGee's behalf. By 1951, millions worldwide were convinced of McGee's innocence-even though there were serious questions about his claim that the truth involved a secret love affair.

Author Biography

Alex Heard is the editorial director of Outside magazine. He has worked as an editor and writer at The New York Times Magazine, Slate, Wired, and The New Republic, and is the author of Apocalypse Pretty Soon. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Table of Contents

The Hot Seatp. 1
A Man Wasn't Born to Live Foreverp. 27
Take Your Choicep. 55
Her Jitterbugp. 81
God Don't Like Uglyp. 105
The Malady of Meddler's Itchp. 128
The Odds Against Smiling Johnnyp. 151
A Rumpus of Redsp. 180
Country Girlp. 209
Communists Coming Herep. 233
A Long, Low Songp. 261
Bare-Legged Womenp. 285
Sorrow Nightp. 309
Epilogue: Whiskey in a Paper Sackp. 337
Acknowledgmentsp. 351
Bibliographyp. 355
Notesp. 367
Indexp. 397
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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