• Blood Done Sign My Name (Abridged)

  • A True Story
  • By: Timothy B. Tyson
  • Narrated by: Timothy B. Tyson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Blood Done Sign My Name (Abridged)  By  cover art

Blood Done Sign My Name (Abridged)

By: Timothy B. Tyson
Narrated by: Timothy B. Tyson
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Publisher's Summary

The “riveting” (Chicago Tribune) true story of the fiery summer of 1970, which would forever transform the town of Oxford, North Carolina - a classic portrait of the fight for civil rights in the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird

On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a 23-year-old Black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased and beat Marrow, then killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. 

Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets. While lawyers battled in the courthouse, the Klan raged in the shadows and Black Vietnam veterans torched the town’s tobacco warehouses. Tyson’s father, the pastor of Oxford’s all-White Methodist church, urged the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away. 

Tim Tyson’s gripping narrative brings gritty blues truth and soaring gospel vision to a shocking episode of our history. 

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award 

“If you want to read only one book to understand the uniquely American struggle for racial equality and the swirls of emotion around it, this is it.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Blood Done Sign My Name is a most important book and one of the most powerful meditations on race in America that I have ever read.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer

Please note: This is the abridged edition. An unabridged verison is also available.

©2004 Timothy B. Tyson (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a divison of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Outstanding....Tyson's avoidance of stereotypes and simple answers brings a shameful recent era in our country's history to vivid life. This book deserves the largest possible audience." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Blood Done Sign My Name (Abridged)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Learned so much

Timothy Tyson's book "Blood Done Sign My Name" was a very interesting and thought provoking listen. I was surprised and shocked to hear some of the details of the murder and attitude of people in Oxford North Carolina. Parts of it reminded me of Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird". Considering that Lee was writing about the 1930's and Tyson's story happened in the 1970's showed just how little had changed in 40 years. Even more disheartening was to hear that historical sites in North Carolina still don't talk about what happened to many of the blacks who gave their lives to the land and died in the cause of freedom. The prejudice of many of the people was hard for me to understand but I feel I learned so much listening to this book.
Dickie's family and friends may not have got justice from the courts but they may take some comfort in knowing that because of Tyson's book he won't be forgotten.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This book works at many layers

Beyond the fascinating dramatic account, the book demands introspection. The book helped me to account for some of the demons and ugly truths that are inside (myself). My perception of he or she that is "not like me" will never be the same, thanks to this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

It was such a good listening with the author reading the book. Clear, enjoyable, and easy to listen to. I have an advantage knowing the author but it "read" like I expected it to - as if Mr Tyson was sitting in the same room reading to me. Powerful story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well Written; Well Read

The story pivots from the death of black victim Dickie Marrow. Dickie was a young husband, father, and father-to-be whose live was snatched by three perpetrators "because they could!" The author follows his own personal progression from his childhood confusion about the neighborhood event to his adult yearning to learn "Why?" The writing and reading bring the deep South to life during the civil rights era. The book is good; so worth my time and money. I had hours of "on the edge" enjoyment.

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Powerful and moving

I absolutely loved this memoir, I love that the author himself narrates it, and I love how honest Tyson is about his own journey of understanding the depths of anti-Black racism in the US, especially the small town South. As a newcomer to North Carolina I deeply appreciate learning about this slice of my adopted state's history and how it lives on in the present. Thank you for the education with soul, Tim Tyson!

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recommend!

Excellent read, authentic and full of emotion. I highly recommend this book to both young and old.