Saturday, February 20, 2010

Someone(s) tried hard to hide this story from you

It really bugs me that I can't find it. I thought I knew where it was but I was wrong and I just don't have time to hunt anymore. If anyone actually reads this entry maybe you can help me find it.

I was looking for the portion of Timothy B. Tyson's book entitled Blood Done Sign My Name in which he recounts how he had a really tough time time obtaining the historical documents that would help him to tell the story of a very dark chapter of North Carolina history. I don't remember all the details now, but I remember enough to say that it is obvious to me that someone or some group does not want for this story to be told.

If I remember correctly, Tyson went to Oxford, North Carolina, where this bloody episode unfolded, and discovered that the documents had been removed from the spots they should be. Newspaper issues for the period in question were missing from the library and, as I recall, from the newspaper office as well. At the state archives in Raleigh the pertinent documents were gone.

He went to the police department in Oxford and inquired about the documents and he was told they were lost or destroyed. If I have this right, as he was leaving, he noticed some stairs leading to a basement at the police department. He went down them and found the door unlocked and entered. In the room behind that door he found some old files, including one containing the newspaper clippings of the period in question. He took the file, copied the documents and returned it. Later he returned to that basement and the file was gone. After he completed a Masters thesis on this story and donated it to the public library in Oxford, he returned and found that someone had torn out the pages recounting the ugliest part of the story.

Again, I am obviously fuzzy on the details and I am sure that someone out there can point me to the page number of Blood Done Sign My Name that can help me to get it right. But it is abundantly clear that some individual or group does not want for you to know this story, which is exactly why you should read Blood Done Sign My Name. The movie based on the book was released yesterday and you should see that too. But you need to read the book. There is a lot more in the print version and this story needs to be known and remembered so that we might learn from our mistakes.


Foghorn said...

Look on p. 294 of the paperback version, that's where the account starts.


David Stratton said...

Thanks, Michael. I am at the office and the book is at home. I'll check it out when I get back to the house.