The Savage City
T.J. English
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Buy *The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge* by T.J. English online

The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge
T.J. English
William Morrow
496 pages
March 2011
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Whenever a discussion arises concerning racial injustice in the late 1960s early '70s, most people automatically think of the Deep South. Mississippi, South Carolina and Georgia almost instantly come to mind. However, New York City was another scene of racial strife, police corruption, and the black community's fight to gain respect and justice during these troubled times.

On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, DC. On the same day in NYC, two young, white women were brutally murdered in their apartment. New York police quickly arrested a 19-year-old black man. After many hours of interrogation, young George Whitmore - tired, naive and scared - signs a confession that will cost him the next 10 years of his life.

Unrelated to that case, a young gangbanger named Dhoruba bin Wahjad was jailed for petty crimes. He came out a Black Panther ready to take on all racial injustices. His story, too, unravels during this violent time.

A third man, Bill Phillips, is a second-generation cop who finds himself deeply enmeshed in the infamous Knapp Commission.

The Savage City channels the mindset of the late Sixties and early Seventies, the racial tension and fear that the city of New York lived with. Interviews with journalists, police, former prosecutors and activists reveal the corruption of the police department during those years and delve into the black community that finally erupted in violence before the history was written.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Susan Johnson, 2011

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