The second River City Read hopes to encourage as many people as possible to read Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur’s Story by Peggy Allen Towns, the facts of the famous trials as told from the perspective of a Decatur native. This is the first time a book about the Scottsboro Trials deals with the impact on the local people and the town of Decatur. The River City Read begins on September 6th and lasts through November 6th. During the Read, participants may check out a copy from the library, purchase their own copy, or get one of the “pass-along” books; the last will be available at Decatur Public Library and Morgan County Archives (while supplies last) and are available to take without a library card. The idea behind giving away these books – purchased with a grant from TVA and Representative Terri Collins – is that once you read it, you give it to someone else, who reads it and passes it on, with the intention of keeping the book moving from reader to reader. Each book will contain a bookplate with instructions for how to register that you read it. Registering is optional, but since the Library staff would like to know how many people read the book, all are encouraged to take a moment and fill out the brief survey. All who participate are invited to take the short survey, which will be available in paper form at the Library or on Decatur Public Library’s website. It is hoped that people keep reading the book and passing it on throughout the two months of the River City Read.
We will kick-off the River City Read on the September 6th with the Alabama Humanities Road Scholar program “Pen Strokes of Justice: Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys”. The world was captivated in spring of 1933, by the re-trial in Decatur, Alabama of one of nine black teens previously found guilty of raping two white women on a train. From around the world, people wrote to the judge begging for justice, whatever they deemed justice to be. When the trial was over, and Judge James E. Horton Jr. had lost his judicial career over his decision to overturn the jury’s guilty verdict, Horton took the more than 700 letters, telegrams, resolutions, and newspaper clippings he had received and carefully stored them in a tin lard bucket. For this presentation the lid comes off the bucket and the audience will learn more about this case and its continuing effect on civil rights and the justice system today. This fascinating program will be presented by the Limestone County Archivist Rebekah Davis, starting at 6:30 pm at the Decatur Public Library.
You will be able to pick up a “pass-along” copy of the book at the Library after the program (while supplies last) or starting on the 7th at the Morgan County Archives (while supplies last). If you don’t have someone to pass the book to, please return the copy to the Decatur Public Library or the Morgan County Archives so that another person can pick it up to read also.
On October 4th Peggy Allen Towns will host a discussion on Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur’s Story at 6:30 pm. There will be copies of the book for sale if patrons want to purchase their own autographed copy.
The River City Read is a bicentennial event, endorsed by ALABAMA 200. ALABAMA 200 supports, creates, and executes events and activities that commemorate the stories of our people, places and path to statehood. Between 2017 and 2019, ALABAMA 200 will engage residents and visitors in educational programs, community activities, and statewide initiatives that teach, inspire, and entertain. For more information about additional programs, and partnerships, visit our website www.mydpl.org.
The September task for the Adult Reading Challenge is to read Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur’s Story by Peggy Allen Towns. You can get credit for this book in two ways: check out the library copy and save your receipt or take one of the “pass along” copies, fill out the paper survey and turn in the survey to StephRhonda.