Join us when the Tubman Museum and Middle Georgia Regional Library present veteran journalist, Karen Branan, as she discusses her book “The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth“ at the Tubman Museum.
“Ever since I was a child,” Karen Branan writes, “I wanted to be a writer. More specifically, I wanted to write a book about a small town in the South.” As a child growing up in Hamilton, Georgia, Branan was the granddaughter of the sheriff. She played in empty courtrooms with her friends, eavesdropped on grownups’ conversations, and felt uncomfortable when whites talked in derogatory tones to or about black people. But it wasn’t until she was in her forties, interviewing her ninety-year-old grandmother for an oral history, that one of the grandmother’s comments unlocked a mystery.
In The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth (Atria Hardcover; 978-1-4767-1718-0; January 5, 2016; $26), Branan describes her almost twenty-year search for the truth behind her grandmother’s casual reply to the query “What is your most unforgettable memory?” The reply was, “The hanging,” which Branan would learn referred to the 1912 lynching of four black residents–a woman and three men–in retaliation for the killing of the sheriff’s nephew. Newly sworn into office, the sheriff–Branan’s maternal great-grandfather–allowed the lynching, for which no one was ever apprehended.
To read more about the book that the Washington Post described as “…a fitting companion to Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved… examining the generational effects of racial violence…” Click Here!