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Silencing of Ruby Mccollum Race, Class, and Gender in the South

ISBN-10: 0813029732
ISBN-13: 9780813029733
Edition: 2006
List price: $34.95
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Description: The Silencing of Ruby McCollum refutes the carefully constructed public memory of one of the most famous--and under-examined--biracial murders in American history. On August 3, 1952, African American housewife Ruby McCollum drove to the office of  More...

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Book details

List price: $34.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication date: 9/9/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 208
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

The Silencing of Ruby McCollum refutes the carefully constructed public memory of one of the most famous--and under-examined--biracial murders in American history. On August 3, 1952, African American housewife Ruby McCollum drove to the office of Dr. C. LeRoy Adams, beloved white physician in the segregated small town of Live Oak, Florida. With her two young children in tow, McCollum calmly gunned down the doctor during (according to public sentiment) "an argument over a medical bill." Soon, a very different motive emerged, with McCollum alleging horrific mental and physical abuse at Adam's hand. In reaction to these allegations and an increasingly intrusive media presence, the town quickly cobbled together what would become the public facade of Adams's murder--a more "acceptable" motive for McCollum's actions. To ensure this would become the official version of events, McCollum's trial prosecutors voiced multiple objections during her testimony to limit what she was allowed to say. Employing multiple methodologies to achieve her voice--historical research, feminist theory, African American literary criticism, African American history, and investigative journalism--Evans analyzes the texts surrounding the affair to suggest that an imposed code of silence demands not only the construction of an official story but also the transformation of a community's citizens into agents who will reproduce and perpetuate this version of events, improbable and unlikely though they may be.

Lynn Worsham is Professor of English at Illinois State University, where she also serves as editor of the Journal of Advanced Composition. She has published numerous books, including Critical Intellectuals on Writing, edited with Gary A. Olson (SUNY Press 2003).

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
"Words and Doing": The Politics of Silence in Southern Rhetoric
"It Was All Routine": The Trial(s) of Ruby McCollum
Discourses of Contention: Punctuating McCollum's Sentence(s) of Silence
Conclusion
Afterword: The Politics of Anger in the Rhetoric of Silence
Appendix: Zora Neale Hurston's "My Impressions of the Trial"
Works Cited
Index

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