Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Book Review - Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice

Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice

About the Book
On Easter Sunday of 1873, just eight years after the Civil War ended, a band of white supremacists marched into Grant Parish, Louisiana, and massacred over one hundred unarmed African Americans. The court case that followed reached the highest court in the land. Yet, following one of the most ghastly incidents of mass murder in American history, not one person was convicted.

The opinion issued by the Supreme Court in US v. Cruikshank set in motion a process that would help create a society in which black Americans were oppressed and denied basic human rights -- legally, according to the courts. These injustices paved the way for Jim Crow and would last for the next hundred years. Many continue to exist to this day.

In this compelling and thoroughly researched volume for young readers, Lawrence Goldstone traces the evolution of the law and the fascinating characters involved in the story of how the Supreme Court helped institutionalize racism in the American justice system.

My Take on the Book
This was a great story about our government and the Constitution and how the Supreme Court and how the court system fits into our governmental structure.

This lesson in our constitution is told through the guise of examining racism and how the court interacted with this topic. 

The story itself looks at a powerful case in Grant County, Louisiana in 1873 and the author does an amazing job of creating the environment within the book. As you read this you are transported back in time and you will find that you feel that you are there. Some of the scenes in the book are hard to read about. You learn about a massacre of 100 black men. While the whole story is not this ghastly, the book does examine tough topics that parents may want to interact with their kids about.

The book also examines civil rights and what this means to people then and even now. I say now because I think that you end up having to examine how we treat people today as you look at how people were treated then. This is another topic for parents to talk to children about.

The book also talked about the 14th and 15th amendments and the work of the Supreme Court to gut these amendments. While you may see the Supreme Court as the court that will watch over the rights of others, this book still does paint the court with some of the ills of the court from earlier in USA history.

While the book does have harder topics to explore, it is an easy read and one that I would encourage all to read.

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