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This is a collection of letters written by the nine African American defendants in the infamous March 1931 Scottsboro, Alabama, rape case. Though most of the defendants were barely literate and all were teenagers when incarcerated, over the course of almost two decades in prison they learned the rudiments of effective letter writing and in doing so forcefully expressed a wide range of perspectives on the falsity of the charges against them as their incarceration became a cause celebre both in the United States and internationally. Central to this book is the chronologically structured presentation of letters (1931-1950), including some correspondence from attorneys and members of Scottsboro support committees. The original grammar, syntax and vernacular of the defendants are maintained in a desire to preserve the authenticity of these letters.



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