Audio NPR Book Review: Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America


“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” Article 1. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

One of the nightmarish racist chapters of American history is documented in a new book by Patrick Phillips. It’s about what happened in Forsyth County, Ga., in 1912 when white mobs terrorized and drove out the entire black population, about 1,100 people. This was the white response to two incidents – the alleged rape of a white woman by a black man and the rape and beating of a young white woman who died of her injuries. A lynch mob attacked and hanged one black suspect. Two teenagers were hanged in public executions following a short trial.

Patrick Phillips is one of the white people who grew up in this county when it was still all white, and people of color were definitely not welcome. His parents were among the civil rights protesters who in the 1980s protested against the county’s continuing segregation. Phillips’ new book “Blood At The Root” is based on his archival research as well as his interviews with townspeople and with descendants of the black people who fled in 1912. Blood At The Root is available on

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Islam!

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