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Publisher's Summary

On a New Orleans morning in 1900, a young Black man named Robert Charles dared to fight back after an unprovoked assault by three white officers. The officers had first approached Charles on the grounds that he looked “suspicious” in a predominantly white neighborhood, and began to attack him after he stood up. After shots were fired, Charles fled on foot, and legal sanction was granted to anyone who sought to kill the “desperado” (as the white newspapers of the time quickly labeled him). In the days that followed, riotous mobs overtook New Orleans. Immune to the law, their only purpose was to pursue and murder any Black person in sight.

Wells-Barnett’s clear-eyed narrative, which includes extensive quotations from newspaper reports of the time, exposed the brutal racism of the Jim Crow South in startling - and harrowing - detail.

Revised edition: Previously published as Mob Rule in New Orleans, this edition of Mob Rule in New Orleans (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Public Domain (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Narrator Kristyl Dawn Tift projects Wells-Barnett's professional manner through a direct, informative tone. With few pauses, Tift enumerates the occurrences leading up to countless deaths. There is a calm urgency in her voice as she retells this action-oriented, gruesome story. When quoting certain voices, Tift provides a colloquial representation of the person being embodied. Through terms and names common to that historical period, the listener is transported back in time to witness the violence.” (AudioFile Magazine)

What listeners say about Mob Rule in New Orleans (AmazonClassics Edition)

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