Good Kids, Bad City is another in an unfortunate series of books that address race and incarceration in this racially divided United States. This is an extremely well researched book that addresses the history of racial uprisings based ,this time, in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ricky Jackson and Ronnie and Wiley Bridgeman were good kids. Cleveland, Ohio, a bad city, known for it’s corruption and crime. Cleveland’s racism was in part caused by extreme segregation, resulting in more racism and a government that protected white communities. This served well in the white neighborhoods, but devastated the black sections. When a salesman was robbed and murdered, three young men were nowhere near the crime, but were arrested in order to close the crime.
In 1975, these three boys were convicted in spite of conflicting witness testimony primarily on the evidence of a 12 year old boy, who wanted to be “helpful” to the police. Sentenced to death, they were reprieved when the Court determined Ohio’s system of sentencing was unconstitutional.
It took thirty nine years for the young boy, now in his 50’s to recant his “eye witness report”.
Good Kids, Bad City makes any reader sickened when the realization occurs that these boys did more time than any other people who were eventually exonerated. It brings to the surface how the systematic racism that is our Justice system, does much injustice to communities of color. I am still angry how long it took the twelve year old witness to come forward to exonerated these young men. So many lives wasted.
Every white person who thinks racism is dead in the US should be forced to read this book, among others that accurately describe how there are two separate justice systems, one for whites, and the second, and much more severe, for people of color. Shame on all of us!
Thanks to #NetGalley and the publisher for a free ebook in exchange for an honest review. #GoodKidsBadCity
Reader, Traveler, Reviewer. Come join us as we travel the US in our RV. I review books.