Florence Arts And Museums Speaker Series: Peggy Allen Towns ‘Scottsboro Unmasked’

By  | September 14, 2021 | Filed under: News

FLORENCE-The Florence Arts and Museums Speaker Series is a monthly program meant to inspire conversations about the history and culture of north Alabama, with a focus on how the past shapes the present. This month, Peggy Allen Towns will deliver her presentation, Scottsboro Unmasked, based upon her book by the same name, at 2pm on Sunday, September 26th, at the Florence Indian Mound Museum.  

 

In her book, “Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur’s Story,” the author revisits the familiar Scottsboro Boys trials, but adds a new dimension to this story by resurrecting the experiences and voices of people in the community. While the book recounts the plight of nine black youth, falsely accused of attacking two white women, it is the first of its genre to unmask Decatur’s story by portraying the impact the trials had on its citizens, caught in the aftermath of Jim Crowism and white supremacy. As the grueling case continues, its rancor envelopes the town. Citizens of both races are assaulted and threatened, the Jewish defense lawyer from New York is insulted daily, and the trial is shown to be an infestation that permeates the community. The author conveys a moving reflection of courage by those who took a stand for justice. Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur’s Story examines the day-to-day destabilization of Decatur and the dehumanizing of the Scottsboro nine by expressing the sentiments of those who embraced “The Old South’s” ideology of inequality which put at risk the lives of nine innocent victims. The infamous case produced two landmark Supreme Court rulings that influence the judicial system today — Powell vs Alabama, all defendants should have adequate legal representation, and Norris vs Alabama, no person should be barred from serving on juries because of their race. Predictably, the book confronts the issues of systemic racism, bigotry, inequality and injustice, subjects that are still relevant in today’s society. 

 

Masks are recommended. This program is sponsored by the City of Florence Department of Arts and Museums and the Kennedy-Douglass Art Center Volunteers. For more information about membership and events, go to: https://www.florencealmuseums.com/. The Florence Indian Mound Museum is located at 1028 S. Court St. Florence, AL and is open, Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Call 256-760-6427 for more information. 

Media Release/Florence Arts and Museums 

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