How Did Women Shape the Discourse and Further Interracial Cooperation in the Worldwide Mass Movement to "Free the Scottsboro Boys"?
Carter, Dan T. Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.
Comprehensive history of the case from beginning to later lives of defendants and other participants. One of two standard reference works on Scottsboro; the other is Goodman.
Diner, Hasia R. In the Almost Promised Land: Jews and Blacks, 1915-1935. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977.
Far-ranging analysis of relations between Jews and Blacks, valuable for discussion of sympathy of Jewish leaders, and especially the ethnic and foreign-language press of New York City, toward the Scottsboro Boys.
Garrison, Dee. Mary Heaton Vorse: The Life of an American Insurgent. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989.
Comprehensive biography of Vorse with scant coverage of her reportage of the second Scottsboro Boys trials and the writing of "How Scottsboro Happened." The work, nevertheless, provides valuable background information on Vorse and her career.
Goodman, James. Stories of Scottsboro. New York: Vintage Books, Random House, 1994.
The "stories" of Scottsboro constituted short chapters presenting the events as seen through the eyes of different participants. While not a chronological history, Goodman's is one of two standard reference works on Scottsboro; the other is Carter.
Graff, Ellen. Stepping Left: Dance and Politics in New York City, 1928-1942. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1997.
Brief reference to a dance created by Edith Segal and performed at Town Hall by the Red Dancers in 1934 as a protest of the Scottsboro verdicts provides an example of the artistic response to Scottsboro. References to songs and plays could also be cited, but this represented the only example of dance found.
Greenberg, Cheryl Lynn. "Or Does It Explode?": Black Harlem in the Great Depression. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Greenberg documents many aspects of the Black experience of the Depression in Harlem and the survival strategies employed from 1930-1935. She cites the Communist Party's success in arousing passion over the Scottsboro case, but faults the party for not working with other Harlem support groups.
Hays, Arthur Garfield. Trial by Prejudice. New York: Covici-Friede Publishers, 1933.
Prominent jurist and libertarian Arthur Garfield Hays presented his thoughts and impressions of Scottsboro shortly after the 1933 trials. The work illuminated various legal motions, quoted extensively from the trial transcript, and provided insightful comments on the defendants, accusers and attorneys.
Kelley, Robin D. G. Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists during the Great Depression. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990.
Authoritative work traces radicalism and Communist organizing among black industrial workers and share croppers in Alabama during the 1930s. Cites the Scottsboro Boys' defense by the International Labor Defense as giving credibility to the Communist Party's efforts and commitment while also documenting the influence of local customs and survival strategies in modifying Communist Party organizing and tactics in the state.
Khan, Lin Shi, and Tony Perez. Scottsboro Alabama: A Story in Linoleum Cuts. New York: New York University Press, 2002.
Powerful images presented in linoleum cuts from the 1930s, recently discovered, put the Scottsboro saga in the context of black people's struggle in America and the workers' struggle in the capitalist state. Text and commentary by Andrew Lee and Robin Kelley provide background on Scottsboro and analysis of its significance and its place in history.
Kinshasa, Kwando Mbiassi. The Man from Scottsboro: Clarence Norris in His Own Words. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, 1997.
A book-length interview with Clarence Norris, the last surviving Scottsboro Boy, intersperses his earthy dialogue with trial transcripts, letters, documents, even the report of a neuropsychiatric exam, with the author's elaboration on points made by Norris. It spans his life from early childhood through the last decade of his life.
Miller, James A., Susan D. Pennybacker, and Eve Rosenhaft. "Mother Ada Wright and the International Campaign." American Historical Review (April 2001): 333-430.
A detailed account of Ada Wright's European trip in 1932, this article provides analysis of the Communist Party's use of the Scottsboro protests and how the protests were crafted to produce sympathy and outrage. It is the only other known historical study to focus on the protest and the role of a Scottsboro Mother.
Naison, Mark. Communists in Harlem during the Depression. Urbana, III.: University of Illinois Press, 1983.
This study of the Communist Party in Harlem in the 1930s provides a starting point for the study of the Scottsboro protests, supplying numerous descriptions of rallies, marches, protests, and the Communist and non-Communists participants.
Scottsboro: An American Tragedy. Barak Goodman and David Anker, Producers. Social Media Productions, for PBS Video, 2001.
The most recent television program on Scottsboro--it provides a good overview of the events and issues as well as the atmosphere of the 1930s. While the protest movement is mentioned and a New York march shown, this program, aired on PBS, contributes little more to the study of the protest movement or the role of women. An earlier television production (1976) led to lawsuits when, through an error repeated from Dan Carter's work, the script reported that both Ruby Bates and Victoria Price were dead; neither was, and Price sued.
The WPA Guide to New York City: The Federal Writers' Project Guide to 1930s New York. New York: The Guilds Committee for Federal Writers' Publications, Inc., 1939. Especially section on "The Harlems," 253-270.
No study of the 1930s should proceed without a review of the WPA Guide, the section on Harlem-Negro, Spanish, and Italian. The guide provides valuable period information about the look and feel of the area and the people in "the spiritual capital of Black America." Streets, major intersections, gathering places, institutions that appear in newspaper accounts of rallies and protests can be researched in the guide with descriptions of how they appeared and what significance they carried in the 1930s.
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