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What The Civil Rights Movement Got Us -- And Didn't

When 19-year-old Black shrimper Gary Duncan placed his hand gently on a white child's shoulder in 1966, the full force of the law came to bear on him instead. The criminal charge lodged against Duncan—battery—took him and his lawyers from rural Louisiana all the way to the Supreme Court.

Deep Delta Justice (Little, Brown 2020), VanMeter's intimate portrait of Duncan's case in rural, mid-century Louisiana, takes readers alongside the unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement: local, Black men and women, far from TV cameras, who worked with lawyers—often Northern and white—to push American democracy to share its freedoms with all its citizens.

Meticulously reported over five years, the story of the Duncan case calls up important questions for today: What change can be made through law and the courts? What's best done outside the courtroom? What does respectful, interracial solidarity look like?

Detroit-area veteran criminal defense attorney Mark Brown will lead a conversation with Matthew Van Meter.

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