Today at the Main Public Library in downtown Nashville Alex Heard, a Vanderbilt alum, will be speaking about his new book, a work of nonfiction called The Eyes of Willie McGee: A Tragedy of Race, Sex and Secrets in the Jim Crow South. This work follows the trial of Willie McGee, an African-American man accused of raping a married white woman, who he might have just had an honest relationship with. His trial lasted one day and the all white jury only took 2 and a half minutes to find him guilty. He was eventually executed.
If this sounds a lot like To Kill a Mockingbird to you, then you’re not alone. The similar plot points were obviously not missed on Heard, as the book’s publish date coincides with the 50th anniversary year of the Harper Lee classic. The Eyes of Willie McGee is for fans of Mockingbird and historical nonfiction.
This event will take place tonight at the Main Public Library at 5pm.