Analysis Of Kevin Boyle's Arc Of Justice

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The cover of Kevin Boyle’s, Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, features a worn black-and-white photograph of what looks like a packed courtroom, with four men in the foreground looking off to the right, as if awaiting a verdict. All of them, three white and one black, wearing suits, have their faces scrubbed out, as if someone had taken an eraser to them while the photograph was still wet. Similar to its cover, the 80-year-old Ossian Sweet case has nearly been wiped out of American history. The author, Kevin Boyle, is an associate professor of history and best known for his books on the labor movement. Boyle finishes reconstructing the Ossian Sweet case so we have a clear, precise snapshot of an incident …show more content…

He is very effective at putting the story of Ossian, Gladys and the other’s on trail in the context of their times. He traces back every detail of what led up the incident on Garland Avenue in a way that is easy to understand. Without putting this event in front of such a detailed background of social history, it may be difficult for someone in 2010 to understand why so many people were so angry and just this sort of thing could have occurred so often. Kevin Boyle brings the reader back to times, making one feel as if they are there with Ossian but with more knowledge of race relations in the U.S. at the time. He skillfully wraps the story of the Sweet case and massive amounts of historical information in a way that is comprehensive and smooth flowing. One can expect, after reading this book to have a good understanding of the racial situation in 1925 Detroit in Boyle’s story that guides them through. Although it is clear that the author favors Ossian over those who are persecuting him, he does not over inflate Ossian’s character in any way, he still shows his faults in a way that any honest historian should. All in all, Arc of Justice is a very well written academically toned story of one of the many battles fought in the struggle for the advancement of African Americans in the united

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