Thinking about a cover

Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, Ga., in 1915.
Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, Ga., in 1915.

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.

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