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In his latest book, Roadhouse Justice: Hattie Lee Barnes and the Killing of a White Man in 1950s Mississippi, Dr. Trent Brown, professor of English and technical communication, weaves a story of injustice, civil rights and the southern legal system. This is Brown’s second book about true crime in the South, and he says the story picks up right where his previous book left off.
Roadhouse Justice focuses on Hattie Lee Barnes, a young Black Mississippi woman, who killed a white man from a prominent family. She stood trial for murder and was acquitted. Brown says her story shows the unpredictable nature of Jim Crow justice – a system in which connections and power mattered a great deal.