My editor has been thinking about the cover for this book, and last week he asked me to list the photos that I thought would work best.
I told him that when I think about Shedrick Thompson’s hanging, I am reminded of the famous picture of the lynching of Leo Frank. Frank was lynched in Marietta, Ga., in the summer of 1915. That photo shows a wooded area, with the hanging victim in the background and spectators in the foreground. They are rural people, unconcerned about what has happened, and dressed as I imagine Thompson’s lynchers were dressed, with rumpled hats, dress shirts and rolled-up sleeves. One obvious difference is that Frank was white and Thompson was black.
I told my editor that I would love to see a cover based on this photo. Perhaps one of their artists or designers could create a similar scene: an apple tree in a thicket, a black victim, and onlookers for whom the murder of a black man is as normal as repairing a fence line.