__At the turn of the twentieth century, Forsyth County, Georgia, was home to an African American community that included ministers and teachers, farmers and field hands, tradesmen, servants, and children.
__But in September of 1912, three young black laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. One man was lynched on the town square, and soon bands of “night riders” launched a campaign of arson and terror, driving all 1,098 black citizens out of the county. In the wake of the expulsions, whites harvested the crops and took over the livestock of their vanished neighbors, quietly laying claim to "abandoned" land. The charred ruins of homes and churches disappeared into the weeds, until finally the people and places of black Forsyth were forgotten.
__Blood at the Root is a sweeping American tale that spans the Cherokee removals of the 1830s, the hope and promise of Reconstruction, and the crushing injustice of Forsyth’s racial cleansing. With bold storytelling and lyrical prose, National Book Award finalist Patrick Phillips breaks the_
century-long silence of his hometown, and uncovers a history of racial terrorism that continues to shape America in the twenty-first century.
Photo © Molly Read Woo