Black Hearts White Minds
The year is 1964 and Carl Gordon is an ill-prepared New York Assistant U.S. Attorney who has lied his way into a transfer to Stockville, Alabama, where he is supposed to monitor and enforce the Civil Rights Act.
In a matter of days, the Ku Klux Klan takes aim at him, the outside agitator. Carl has agreed to represent Oleatha Geary, a black family matriarch who has inherited a mansion in an all-white, race-restricted neighborhood. Carl and Oleatha are engulfed in litigation that turns deadly. Meanwhile, Carl and Oleatha's daughter, Lenore, find themselves in a blossoming romance opposed by everyone, white and Black.
Heroism for hatred, controversy in death, friendship and forbidden love fill the pages of this remarkable tale of societal ills, culture clashes and political change.
"As I read Black Hearts White Minds, I was reminded by turns of Harper Lee, Willie Morris, and John Grisham. Like Grisham, Mitch Margo is an attorney; like Morris, he's a former journalist, and like Lee, his writing is evocative with a moral center straight and true. With our new president publicly insulting Civil Rights icon John Lewis and the new administration looking to reverse 50 years of progress, this Civil Rights era page-turner is a must read." - Richard H. Weiss, Former Daily Features Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"...At once magical and poignant and terrifying ...You will be enchanted by this powerful story." - Michael A. Kahn, Award-winning Author, Rachel Gold Mysteries Series
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"Black Hearts White Minds dives deep into the Civil Rights movement in the American South at a crucial time: 1964. But Mitch Margo sets his first novel in one Alabama town, allowing him to explore the era on a distinctly human scale through ordinary people and not so ordinary events. The result is a book that feels personal,
rather than monumental. Margo, a seasoned lawyer who makes the law and lawyering an important but not overriding element of his story, has a knack for dramatic structure and a sharp eye for contrasting, engaging personalities. And his plot twists manage to be simultaneously startling and entirely credible, no mean feat."
- Eric Mink, Writer, The Huffington Post
"While a work of fiction, Black Hearts White Minds transports readers to a time and place in American history, 1964 small-town Alabama, when the Civil Rights movement was slowly gaining traction, and segregationists, including the Ku Klux Klan, would stop at nothing to trounce the efforts of blacks and whites fighting for justice. Margo
has crafted a narrative that is equal parts engrossing, heartbreaking and hopeful, populated with richly drawn, compelling characters, and an overarching essence that captures the enduring nature of the human spirit, no matter the obstacles." - Ellen Futterman, Editor, St. Louis Jewish Light
"Black Hearts White Minds took me to a place I never want to visit again--1964 Alabama. It is a lively, engrossing novel about two families struggling with the brutality of Jim Crow, one black and keenly aware of the rules, the other white, Yankee, and ignorant but well-intended. The plotting is deft, the characters vivid, and the ambience as thick as Southern humidity. Mitch Margo knows how to tell a story."- David Carkeet, Author, The Full Catastrophe
"Black Hearts White Minds is an important book that lances the boil of prejudice, peels away the crusted layers of historic bigotry, and reveals a purer sense of what's possible when we see ourselves and each other as whole and valid. Mitch Margo's own life experiences coupled with his mastery of story puts him in a league with John
Grisham and Taylor Branch." - Mara Purl, Best-selling Author, What the Heart Knows and Where the Heart Lives
"The early sixties are often thought of as a time of lost innocence. Margo reminds us that the era was anything but innocent in the American south. His novel rings with authenticity and his characters' struggles in the fictional town of Stockville, Alabama foretell the problems we still face today. Stockville is not really so far from Ferguson."
- Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Black Hearts White Minds is informative, entertaining, educational, moving and enlightening. Mitch Margo did an awesome job making me feel the joy, pain, frustration and passion of each character. As a Black woman, I was not interested in the life experiences of a White attorney moving to the south, yet I am so glad I read it. I felt like I was
right there in Stockville experiencing the story myself. This novel was an absolute pleasure to read and I would suggest it anyone, especially those who are interested in history." - Sharonda McMullen, Author, Create A New You
"I simply loved this book, the story, the characters, and of course the basketball concept...on his first time out, Mitch Margo scores a triple double...I want to play Thomas in the film." - Ron Himes, Founder, Producing Director
St. Louis Black Repertory Company