Spring 2010: Alumni Ink

Movie poster for Blood Done Sign My Name Book cover of Murder on the Metro

Digging Up the Past

By Mallory Goldberg 10C

Timothy Tyson 87C, a research scholar at the Center of Documentary Studies at Duke University, has written a detailed account of an event that violently upended and divided his hometown in 1970 in Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story (Three Rivers Press, 2005). Tyson’s book tells of the street murder of twenty-three-year-old Henry Marrow, a young black man and Vietnam veteran in Oxford, North Carolina, and the sham trial that followed, which fueled tensions still permeating the state after the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Blood Done Sign My Name captures the outrage of the black community and the struggles of Tyson’s own father, an antisegregationist Methodist minister, who fought for his congregation to overcome their prejudices. “Violence and nonviolence were both more ethically complicated—and more tightly intertwined—than they appeared in most media accounts and history books,” Tyson says. A movie based on the book was released in February by Paladin; Tyson plays a bit part as a Klansman.

Murder, They Wrote

Murder in the Metro (Louisiana State University Press, 2010) is the story of Laetitia Toureaux, an Italian immigrant and factory worker who was the first person ever killed in the Paris Metro. Annette Finley-Croswhite 91PhD and Gayle Brunelle 88PhD present a historical study of this unsolved murder of 1937. The story’s backdrop is the political turbulence of France in the years leading up to World War II.

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