Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
In 1931, two white women stepped from a boxcar in Paint Rock, Alabama to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers on the train. So began one of the most significant legal fights of the twentieth century. The trials of the nine young men would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions and give birth to the civil rights movement.
Weaving together interviews of the last surviving witnesses, never-before-seen footage,photos,letters, diaries and newspaper accounts, SCOTTSBORO : AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY tells extraordinary lost story. Filmmakers Barak Goodman and Daniel Anker take viewers from jails to Alabama to salons in New York to meet a fascinating gallery of characters: the lead defendant-a defiant man who refuses to lay down before the power of Alabama; the defense lawyer-who sees in the case echoes of the discrimination he has felt himself; the accuser- a poor white woman whose lie lends her respectability; and the Southern judge-who risks the scorn of his beloved state to deliver justice.
Produced by: WGBH Educational Foundation
Distributed by: PBS
Approximate Running Time: 90 minutes