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The Lena Baker Story [Paperback]

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Item description for The Lena Baker Story by Lela Bond Phillips...

The Lena Baker Story by Lela Bond Phillips

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Item Specifications...


Pages   120
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Wings Publishers, LLC
ISBN  1930897073  
ISBN13  9781930897076  


Availability  130 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 29, 2017 03:24.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.


More About Lela Bond Phillips


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Phillips has been teaching English at Andrew College in Cuthbert, Georgia since 1987. She has been awarded three Fulbright Study Grants.

Lela Bond Phillips currently resides in Albany, in the state of Georgia. Lela Bond Phillips was born in 1944.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Criminals
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Women
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Crime & Criminals > Criminology
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology



Reviews - What do customers think about The Lena Baker Story?

Rough Justice  Aug 16, 2005
Lela Bond Phillips's recounting of this once forgotten miscarriage of justice is a gripping story well told in its sparse yet lively style covering barely 120 pages. While others would have padded the book with trial transcripts and other ephemera Phillips sticks to the facts of the case painting a warts and all portrait of Lena Baker, the accused murderer and her relationship with Ernest White, the victim. Phillips is unsparing in the depiction of the events leading to the murder as well as well as providing background information on all the major characters as events unfold. Phillips does an outstanding job of explaining how the standards of crime scene investigation and forensic evidence of the era were not as rigorous as they are now and points out the inherent contradictions in the testimony and evidence presented at trial. Phillips studiously avoids making judgments and is careful to point out that readers should not use contemporary standards to judge the characters and their actions. The unflattering and unemotional depiction of an interracial relationship gone wrong in the Jim Crow South has the potential for overwrought prose, but Phillips keeps that in check, largely due to her writing ability (she has an MA in English). In fact her style of writing is well suited for historical writing even though here she is writing out-of-field.

When printed in 1998 this book generated renewed interest in the case and efforts to mark Ms. Baker's grave and obtain a pardon from the Board of Parole and Pardons was undertaken. Those efforts bore fruit on August 15, 2005 when the Board posthumously pardoned Ms. Baker. The pardon is a small consolation as she was electrocuted 60 years ago in Georgia's electric chair; the only woman to be put to death. This book is highly recommended for those interested in exploring the Jim Crow era of the South, Georgia History, and real life crime stories. Phillips's style of writing is very enjoyable and this book is a lively page turner that will give you a better understanding of the times.
 
The Lena Baker Story: A Review  Jan 22, 2003
(The following review is taken from The Eufaula Tribune, Joel P. Smith, Triibune publisher) The Lena Baker Story, the story of the first and only woman to be executed in Georgia, is almost as fascinating as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The plot centers on Lena Baker, 44, who had never known anything but the pangs of poverty, and gristmill owner Ernest B. Knight, a white man 23 years the African-American Baker's senior. They had carried on a love-hate relationship for some three years --"The kind that usually ends in one of the parties being harmed." It began when Lena was hired to care for the mill owner while he recovered from a broken leg.The trashy affair isn't exploited, but it dramatically raises the question, was justice served even though the slave woman-locked in his gristmill and not allowed to go home -- confessed to killing him?....I found the well-researched true story to be a page-turner....The book is divided into three parts: Lena's life, the trial and the execution. If the story line doesn't have appeal, the life and times of the shooter and the gristmill owner do. It's a delightful, graphic depiction of this bygone era, encompassing politics in Georgia, including neighboring Quitman County. Georgia's own gubernatorial debacle is included, when Ellis Arnall and Herman Talmadge both claimed to be governor, sitting 20 feet from each other in the executive suite, carrying on the business of Georgia....Much history and life of the times are skillfully incoorporated into the book, such as the founding of Andrew College in 1854 to bring prospective wives to Cuthbert for the young men attending a local Baptist academy. There's the tale about the old woman who took her cats in a croaker sack with her when she went downtown to shop foor groceries. then Mrs. Luci Moye made a daily trip in the late afternoon to Eufaula to buy her pet parrot, Polly, a cherry Coke, following her "racous litany of 'Polly want a cherry Coke.'" The story doesn't have a happy ending, though. The Cuthbert Times, a local newspaper I bought years later and edited, crassly reported on her death on page one: "Baker Burns."
 
Lena's Story Needed to Be Told  Mar 28, 2002
The story of Lena Baker, the first and only woman to be executed legally in the state of Georgia, needed to be told.
Lena was an impoverished Black woman who lived in Cuthbert, the seat of Randolph County, in southwest Georgia. She lost control of her life because, in addition to her station, of two facts. A prominent white man insisted she be his mistress, and she was dependent on alcohol.
When she killed her oppressor in self-defense, she was tried for murder. Did she receive a fair trial? Was her case given an adequate investigation? Was she assigned a competent defense attorney?
The exploration of these questions makes Phillips's The Lena Baker Story an absorbing one, but even more engaging are the minute details the reader learns of small-town, Southern life in the 1940s. We are told what is playing at the movies. We know that one Cuthbert resident drove all the way to Eufala, Alabama, to buy her pet bird cherry cokes. We know what most folks had for dinner.
This book is highly recommended for its general appeal and to any student of the history of jurisprudence, of the civil rights of Blacks and women, of Americana, or of Georgia history.
 
Lena's Story Needed to Be Told  Mar 28, 2002
The story of Lena Baker, the first and only woman to be executed legally in the state of Georgia, needed to be told.
Lena was an impoverished Black woman who lived in Cuthbert, the seat of Randolph County, in southwest Georgia. She lost control of her life because, in addition to her station, of two facts. A prominent white man insisted she be his mistress, and she was dependent on alcohol.
When she killed her oppressor in self-defense, she was tried for murder. Did she receive a fair trial? Was her case given an adequate investigation? Was she assigned a competent defense attorney?
The exploration of these questions makes Phillips's The Lena Baker Story an absorbing one, but even more engaging are the minute details the reader learns of small-town, Southern life in the 1940s. We are told what is playing at the movies. We know that one Cuthbert resident drove all the way to Eufala, Alabama, to buy her pet bird cherry cokes. We know what most folks had for dinner.
This book is highly recommended for its general appeal and to any student of the history of jurisprudence, of the civil rights of Blacks and women, of Americana, or of Georgia history.
 

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