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My father and Atticus Finch: a lawyer's fight for justice in 1930s Alabama

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Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date:
2016
Language:
English

Description

The story of Foster Beck, the author's late father, whose defense of a black man accused of rape in 1930s Alabama foreshadowed the trial at the heart of To Kill a Mockingbird.


As a child, Joseph Beck heard the stories—when other lawyers came up with excuses, his father courageously defended a black man charged with raping a white woman.


Now a lawyer himself, Beck reconstructs his father's role in State of Alabama vs. Charles White, Alias, a trial that was much publicized when Harper Lee was twelve years old.


On the day of Foster Beck's client's arrest, the leading local newspaper reported, under a page-one headline, that "a wandering negro fortune teller giving the name Charles White" had "volunteered a detailed confession of the attack" of a local white girl. However, Foster Beck concluded that the confession was coerced. The same article claimed that "the negro accomplished his dastardly purpose," but as in To Kill a Mockingbird, there was evidence at the trial to the contrary. Throughout the proceedings, the defendant had to be escorted from the courthouse to a distant prison "for safekeeping," and the courthouse itself was surrounded by a detachment of sixteen Alabama highway patrolmen.


The saga captivated the community with its dramatic testimonies and emotional outcome. It would take an immense toll on those involved, including Foster Beck, who worried that his reputation had cast a shadow over his lively, intelligent, and supportive fiancé, Bertha, who had her own social battles to fight.


This riveting memoir, steeped in time and place, seeks to understand how race relations, class, and the memory of southern defeat in the Civil War produced such a haunting distortion of justice, and how it may figure into our literary imagination.

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ISBN:
9780393285826
9780393285819

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDd8809135-15a8-4c1f-747a-1f27a9ded746
Grouping Titlemy father and atticus finch a lawyers fight for justice in 1930s alabama
Grouping Authorjoseph madison beck
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2024-06-14 02:10:59AM
Last Indexed2024-06-14 02:21:12AM

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Beck, Joseph Madison
available_at_catalog
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Valley Hi-North Laguna
display_description

The story of Foster Beck, the author's late father, whose defense of a black man accused of rape in 1930s Alabama foreshadowed the trial at the heart of To Kill a Mockingbird.

As a child, Joseph Beck heard the stories—when other lawyers came up with excuses, his father courageously defended a black man charged with raping a white woman.

Now a lawyer himself, Beck reconstructs his father's role in State of Alabama vs. Charles White, Alias, a trial that was much publicized when Harper Lee was twelve years old.

On the day of Foster Beck's client's arrest, the leading local newspaper reported, under a page-one headline, that "a wandering negro fortune teller giving the name Charles White" had "volunteered a detailed confession of the attack" of a local white girl. However, Foster Beck concluded that the confession was coerced. The same article claimed that "the negro accomplished his dastardly purpose," but as in To Kill a Mockingbird, there was evidence at the trial to the contrary. Throughout the proceedings, the defendant had to be escorted from the courthouse to a distant prison "for safekeeping," and the courthouse itself was surrounded by a detachment of sixteen Alabama highway patrolmen.

The saga captivated the community with its dramatic testimonies and emotional outcome. It would take an immense toll on those involved, including Foster Beck, who worried that his reputation had cast a shadow over his lively, intelligent, and supportive fiancé, Bertha, who had her own social battles to fight.

This riveting memoir, steeped in time and place, seeks to understand how race relations, class, and the memory of southern defeat in the Civil War produced such a haunting distortion of justice, and how it may figure into our literary imagination.

format_catalog
Book
eBook
format_category_catalog
Books
eBook
id
d8809135-15a8-4c1f-747a-1f27a9ded746
isbn
9780393285819
9780393285826
itype_catalog
Adult Book Non-Fiction
last_indexed
2024-06-14T09:21:12.436Z
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literary_form
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Non Fiction
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345.761 B393zb 2016
owning_library_catalog
Sacramento Public Library
owning_location_catalog
Arden-Dimick
Carmichael
Valley Hi-North Laguna
primary_isbn
9780393285826
publishDate
2016
publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
recordtype
grouped_work
subject_facet
Beck, Foster -- (Lawyer)
Criminal defense lawyers -- Alabama -- Biography
Defense (Criminal procedure) -- Alabama
Race relations -- Alabama -- History
Trials (Rape) -- Alabama -- History
title_display
My father and Atticus Finch : a lawyer's fight for justice in 1930s Alabama
title_full
My Father and Atticus Finch A Lawyer's Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama
My father and Atticus Finch : a lawyer's fight for justice in 1930s Alabama / Joseph Madison Beck
title_short
My father and Atticus Finch
title_sub
a lawyer's fight for justice in 1930s Alabama
topic_facet
Beck, Foster
Biography & Autobiography
Criminal defense lawyers
Defense (Criminal procedure)
History
Nonfiction
Race relations
Sociology
Trials (Rape)

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