Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice (Scholastic Focus) | Scholastic Canada
Skip to main content

Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice (Scholastic Focus)

By Lawrence Goldstone   

Scholastic Inc. | ISBN 9781338239461 Paperback
288 Pages | Ages 12 & Up

Scholastic Inc. | ISBN 9781338239485 Ebook
288 Pages | Ages 12 & Up

The riveting story of how the Supreme Court turned a blind eye on justice, stripped away the equal rights promised to all Americans, and ushered in the era of Jim Crow.

On Easter Sunday of 1873, just eight years after the Civil War ended, a band of white supremacists marched into Grant Parish, Louisiana, and massacred over 100 unarmed African Americans. The court case that followed reached the highest court in the land. Yet, following one of the most ghastly incidents of mass murder in American history, not one person was convicted.The opinion issued by the Supreme Court in US v. Cruikshank set in motion a process that would help create a society in which black Americans were oppressed and denied basic human rights -- legally, according to the courts. These injustices paved the way for Jim Crow and would last for the next hundred years. Many continue to exist to this day.In this compelling and thoroughly researched volume for young readers, Lawrence Goldstone traces the evolution of the law and the fascinating characters involved in the story of how the Supreme Court helped institutionalize racism in the American justice system.

Raves & reviews:

Praise for Unpunished Murder:
A Booklist Youth Editors' Choice selection

* "A gripping story and a well-informed perspective on American history. Spotlighting an event seldom discussed in books for young people, Goldstone provides a complex, useful historical context for understanding issues surrounding race and justice." — Booklist, starred review

* "The book is, in large part, the story of how racism evolves, persisting in laws and politics despite major social advances." — The Horn Book, starred review

"This book shines a light on a shameful sea change moment in U.S. history... Difficult and necessary." — Kirkus Reviews

"This is a unique look at not only the massacre in question, but also at the history and workings of the Supreme Court of the United States... This work shows a more complete history of the Reconstruction era and the way the highest levels of government were affected by a country trying to heal and make amends." — School Library Connection