Monday, October 09, 2006

Blakeslee's Tulia in paperback

The paperback edition of Grits' friend Nate Blakeslee's book Tulia: Race, Cocaine and Corruption in a Small Texas Town, has just been released. Go here for more information or to order a copy. See an interview with Nate here.


Tracey Hayes said...

does it still call the Tulia freedom ride just a bunch of unwanted drug legalizers? hm.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Yeah, I don't know anyone who was there who feels that way, but you're right Nate didn't portray it very sympathetically. At the time, momentum was low, the cases appeared to be going badly, and the Freedom Ride was a much-needed shot in the arm to the movement. Every prediction from the folks who criticized the Freedom Ride back then turned out not to occur - it was all good as far as I'm concerned.

AlanBean said...

Nate wrote a lawyer book and neither the freedom ride nor the Never Again rally had much impact on the legal fight. In fact, the only lawyer involved at the time denounced the ride and rally in the Amarillo paper. We didn't mind because it provided some much-needed publicity at a time when the story had gone cold in the media. Drug policy reformers and civil rights people (NAACP, LULAC, ACLU) cared enough about the struggle for justice to travel to a little pissant panhandle town on a day when the mercury hit 103F. No one can know how much courage it took for those of us who live in Tulia to march down Dip Street at one in the morning with state police at every corner and the sheriff and his deputies waiting at the courthouse. Putting up with this kind of intimidation was necessary for survival. Every state prison in a 100-mile radius of Tulia was on lockdown that day so we got somebody's attention. My Tulia book (which is finally done) gives a whole chapter to the ride and rally.