No Death by Unknown Hands

General Fiction

By Minnette Coleman

Publisher : Night Publishing

ABOUT Minnette Coleman

Minnette Coleman
Minnette Coleman is an author, actress and singer born in Atlanta, Georgia. She has lived in New York City for almost 25 years. Having performed off-off Broadway she has toured her one woman show on the civil rights movement in the south, been a teacher actress for The Creative Arts Team a More...



'Death by Unknown Hands' is how a US coroner would officially record a death by lynch mob.

The 1950s was a watershed period for such atrocities in the Deep South. It was still entirely possible for a colored person to be lynched, for colored houses to be burned down, and for colored workers to lose their jobs, but these were no longer automatic responses to an event which outraged the white community - they were certainly possible, there were even quite probable, but they were no longer guaranteed.

It was therefore a time when the colored community held its breath to see if the justice system could impose itself on the anarchy of the lynch mob.

'No Death By Unknown Hands' is the simple, basically true story, told in all the complexity that is its due, of how a brave, gentle, concerned and God-fearing man who ministered to the colored community of Atlanta in the 1950s was accused of the rape of a white woman that never actually took place, was tried for his 'crime' and was executed.

And it is the story of a young girl growing up watching in great confusion the way the elders in her community wrestled with the political issues of truth and justice, those elders including her father who was the editor of The Paper, a daily newspaper for colored people at the time.

I wrote the story because my father was the City Editor of a major newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia at the time these two rapes occurred. I was too young to take part in the real tale, but it is what might have happened had I been.

"This is an engrossing tale about black folks in the South during a specific time in American social history. I really liked the authentic narrator/voice of this young lady growing up and coming to grips with her idea of what is right and what is wrong . I highly recommend this read for young and older readers alike,"Brenda J. Young, Ph.D., Argosy University.

“Do not expect fireworks in this book. There is nothing to celebrate in this tragic tale of too-recent history. Expect insight. Expect humanity. Expect a cruelly-wrought hope. Expect subtlety of prose style and storytelling. You will find them,” Tim Roux, author of ‘Missio’ and ‘The Dance of the Pheasodile’.