AUBURN – The Scottsboro trials of the 1930s will be the subject of a talk on Monday, March 29, at 4 p.m. in the University Chapel by two authors who have written on the subject. The speakers, who will provide insight on the conviction of the Scottsboro Boys and the trials that followed, will be James Miller, professor of English and American Studies and chair of American Studies Department at George Washington University, and Susan Pennybacker, a modern British and European specialist on the faculty of Trinity College in Connecticut.
The story of the Scottsboro Boys and subsequent trials began in 1931 in Alabama, when nine black youths were charged with raping two white women. Despite little and contradictory evidence, all nine were found guilty and eight of the defendants were sentenced to death. The trial and the fate of the young men became an international cause and influenced not only the legal system but also American culture at large.