Hosea Williams’s march on Forsyth County 25 years ago

The post you’re looking for has been moved. Click here to access the article about Hosea Williams’s 1987 Forsyth County march at Brambleman.com.

 Brambleman, the Forsyth County saga, is now available in both eBook and paperback versions. Order it online or ask for it from local bookseller.  To see purchase options, click here.

You can download the prologue and Chapter One of Brambleman to read at t you pleasure by clicking here. Enjoy!


A Novel by Jonathan Grant

PLOT DESCRIPTION: Down-and-out Atlanta writer Charlie Sherman has no idea what madness awaits him when a mysterious stranger convinces him to finish a dead man’s book about a horrific crime that’s gone unpunished for decades.

What Charlie inherits is an unwieldy manuscript about the mob-driven expulsion of more than 1,000 blacks from Forsyth County, Georgia in 1912. During the course of his work, Charlie uncovers a terrible secret involving a Forsyth County land grab. Due to its proximity to Atlanta, the stolen farm is now worth $20 million—and a sale is pending.

When he finds the land’s rightful owner, Charlie becomes convinced he’s been chosen by a Higher Power to wreak justice and vengeance on those who profit from evil.

And then things go horribly wrong.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Forsyth County, bordering the black mecca of Atlanta (and famous as the birthplace of Hee-Haw’s Junior Samples), has existed as an intentionally all-white community for most of the past century following one of America’s most violent racist outrages—including lynching, nightriding, and arson—in 1912.

In 1987, the sleepy community gained international notoriety when a small march led by civil rights firebrand Hosea Williams was broken up by rock- and bottle-throwing Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and their sympathizers. Bloody but unbowed, Williams returned the next week with 25,000 followers in one of largest civil rights marches in history. There was talk of reparations. Oprah came to Forsyth and taped her show. Protests and counter-protests yielded a landmark Supreme Court case on free speech. But most importantly, white people flocked to Forsyth. It became the fastest- growing county in the nation, the richest one in Georgia, and one of the twenty wealthiest in the U.S.

Another 4-star review

This review comes from Book Nook Club, and it contains some interesting takes on the book. Among other things, the reviewer says:

(Chain Gang Elementary) raises issues of race, class and white privilege in a way that is very nuanced and thoughtful.  The ending is great–I read the last quarter in one evening because I didn’t want to put it down!

… Overall a very enjoyable read, one that will make you feel outraged, sad, and hopeful.   4 stars

To read the entire review, click here.

Chain Gang Elementary a finalist for “Book of the Month”

I just received notice that Chain Gang Elementary has been selected as a finalist in the “Book of the Month” contest run by Indie Books List, which does a great job of promoting and showcasing books by independent authors.  They are now entering the reviewing phase.

By the way, the excerpt from my novel that got reviewers’ attention was the section on standardized testing. You can read it here.

Slave math controversy rages on

Apparently, the beatings haven’t stopped, at least not for the teachers involved.

The “slave math” controversy in Gwinnett County’s Beaver Ridge Elementary rages on. Georgia NAACP officials are calling on the school system to fire the third-grade teachers who handed out  math homework asking students, among other things, to calculate slave beatings. Profession educators’ groups argue that the misbegotten assignment doesn’t rise to the level of a firing offense.  (For background, here’s my previous post.)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more. As does Maureen Downey in the Get Schooled blog.

Here’s your class warfare!

And if you spit in my foie gras, I will kill you. And hunt down your children.

From the Huffington Post (of course):

Sometimes, restaurant service is so bad that certain HuffPost Food editors have voiced the determination to strangle their waiters, but we’ve never actually done it. Neither has “76-year-old Palm Beach plutocrat” John Castle. Instead, he responded to bad service by breaking his waiter’s finger.

According to the Palm Beach Daily News, Castle and his wife Marianne were dining at local institution Club Collette when a server made the grievous mistake of bringing a bill to their table, allegedly at Mrs. Castle’s request. (Club Colette members are allowed to charge bills to their accounts without having bills delivered to their tables.) Castle became enraged and grabbed the 57-year-old waiter’s hand, twisting it until the pain was excruciating. The waiter later went to the doctor and had his hand X-rayed; his left ring finger was broken. Eater has the full police report.

Read more.