FW: BOOK ANN: _Scottsboro, Alabama: A Story in Linoleum Cuts_
- fyi...aj wright // ajwright@...
From: Thomas Thurston [mailto:tt544@...]
Sent: Friday, June 07, 2002 7:32 AM
Subject: BOOK ANN: _Scottsboro, Alabama: A Story in Linoleum Cuts_
Date: Thu, 6 Jun 2002 16:28:12 -0500
Subject: Book Ann. - Scottsboro, Alabama: A Story in Linoleum Cuts - ed.
From: Asha Curran asha.curran@...
NYU Press Introduces a Unique Chronicle of an Infamous Racial Injustice,
Told Through Powerful, Never-Before-Published Political Art
A Story in Linoleum Cuts
Edited by Andrew Lee
Foreword by Robin D.G. Kelley
NYU Press is proud to announce the publication of a unique graphic history
of one of the most infamous, racially-charged episodes in American history.
Both those familiar with the 1931 case of the "Scottsboro nine" and those
coming to the story for the first time will find this artwork stunningly
powerful, both an unforgettable history lesson and a one-of-a-kind artifact.
These 118 linoleum prints depict a travesty of justice, delivered in 1931,
when nine black youths were falsely accused of raping two white women on a
freight train traveling through northern Alabama. They were arrested, tried,
and convicted of rape-all within four days-and eight of them were sentenced
to death. The ensuing legal battle lasted for six years and involved two
landmark decisions by the Supreme Court. One of the most well known and
controversial legal decisions of our time, the Scottsboro case ignited the
emotions of the entire nation, which was still struggling to come to terms
with fundamental issues of racial equality.
A generation later, the story still has the power to provoke hot debate and
emotion, and it is retold in Scottsboro, Alabama with a renewed raw power.
Decades after the creation of the Scottsboro artwork in 1935, Andrew Lee, a
librarian at the Tamiment Library at NYU, discovered a series of 118
original linoleum cut prints, clearly old and breathtaking in their raw,
angry intensity, as part of a gift to the Library by the family of Joe
North, a major figure in the Communist Party-USA and an editor at the
seminal left-wing journal, the New Masses. They chronicled the Scottsboro
story, cut by cut.
The names of the artists, Lin Shi Khan and Toni Perez, are all we know;
their identities are a mystery, and the copy of the book that was given to
Lee is the only known copy in existence. He was able to discover that the
book was printed in Seattle in 1935, but it was never mass-printed or
reprinted. Until his discovery, the book's existence was virtually unknown.
This is the book's first official presentation, and it is both an historical
find and an excellent tool for learning about the case itself and the period
which it so harshly brings to life. Despite the best efforts of Mr. Lee and
NYU Press, the original authors remain unknown and unfound.
"The Press has been fortunate to publish many important, even crucial books-
books that make a lasting contribution to scholarship, books that speak to
the current political or cultural moment, books of aesthetic distinction,"
notes Editorial Director Eric Zinner, "and with the publication of
Scottsboro, Alabama all of these elements come together in one singular
With a foreword by Robin D.G. Kelley, an introduction by Andrew H. Lee, and
published in a handsomely printed and lush-toned edition, Scottsboro,
Alabama is a true historical find, one that allows us to see the Scottsboro
case through a new and highly provocative lens.
Andrew H. Lee is a librarian at the Tamiment Library at New York University.
Robin D.G. Kelley is Professor of History at New York University and author
of, most recently, Yo' Mama's Disfunktional! Fighting the Culture Wars in
Publication Date: July 2002
118 b&w linoleum prints