The Gainesville – Hall County Black History Society will present Blood at the Root with Patrick Phillips on Saturday, August 5 at Grace Episcopal Church. A book signing and reception will begin at 1:00 PM, with a discussion at 2:00 PM. This is a free event but seating is limited.
National Book Award finalist Phillips tells Forsyth County’s tragic story in vivid detail and traces its history of racial violence all the way back to antebellum Georgia. Recalling his own childhood in the 1970s and ’80s, Phillips sheds light on the communal crimes of his hometown and the violent means by which locals kept Forsyth “all white” well into the 1990s.
Forsyth County, Georgia, home to a large African American community at the turn of the century. But then in September of 1912, three young black men were accused of the rape and murder of a white girl. One man was dragged from a jail cell and lynched on the town square. Two teenagers were hung after a one-day trial. Soon bands of white “night riders” launched a coordinated campaign of arson and terror, driving all 1,098 black citizens out of the county.
“Deeply researched and crisply written, “Blood at the Root’’ is an impressive and timely case study of the racial violence and historical amnesia that characterize much of American history. Phillips…is a gifted storyteller.”
— Matthew Delmont, The Boston Globe
“Phillips’ book feels timely, unapologetically discussing the way fear, panic, ignorance, and timing may have kept Forsyth County trapped in the past.”
— William Lee, The Chicago Tribune
“There are places the civil rights movement literally passed by, and for decades Forsyth County was one of those pockets. Blood at the Root is a vital investigation of Forsyth’s history, and of the process by which racial injustice is perpetuated in America.”
— U.S. Congressman John Lewis, author of March
- Gainesville-Hall County Black History Society
- The Educational Foundations and Museum of Beulah Rucker, Inc.
- Fair Street-Butler High Alumni Association, Inc.
- Grace Episcopal Church