Interesting book about a little-known moment in American Catholic History

A reader writes:

I thought you might be interested in this. I recently learned of a new book, “Rising Road” by Prof. Sharon Davies. Here is a link to a video of a talk she gave in Columbus, Ohio.

Her book is about an incident in 1921 in Birmingham, Alabama, in which a Catholic priest was murdered in broad daylight by a Protestant minister who was angered by the fact that his daughter had become a Catholic convert and later married a Hispanic immigrant. The minister was put on trial but found not guilty (Catholics were kept off the jury, and the minister’s lawyer deliberately inflamed anti-Catholic and racial hostility as part of his defense).

One interesting bit of trivia I learned was that Alabama in 1921 still had a law requiring random police inspections of convents and rectories to investigate whether any person was being kept against their will. (I had thought that these laws had disappeared with the demise of the Know-Nothing movement in the 1850s). Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America

Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Religion & Race in America by Sharon Davies

Writers Talk: Sharon Davies

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  • KyPerson

    The lawyer who defended the man who shot the priest was Hugo Black. He later became a Supreme Court Justice. There was Klan involvement as well. Hugo Black was a Klansman for a time and was anti-Catholic.

    • And now every single justice on the court is either Catholic or Jewish. Suck it, KKK.

      • john smith

        Few things could make me more ashamed and embarassed to be a cradle Catholic than pointing out their ( or “our”) current dominance within the US “Supreme Court.”

  • Matthew

    Good ol’ Alabama. We’ve changed a lot since then and made a lot of progress. You can now be openly Catholic in my town without the threat of death. Although, there’s a good chance someone will tell you all the ways you’re going to hell, but hey, you get what you get.

    • ImTim

      Frankly, I like when people tell me I’m going to hell. At least I know they care.

      • chezami

        I dunno. I have lots of people tell me I’m going to hell and they don’t care, except insofar as they relish the thought.

  • Ye Olde Statistician

    Was talking to a priest once who recalled a parish council meeting down Pottsville (or Pottstown, I always get them mixed up). Fellow comes bursting in and says, “The Klan is burning a cross up on the hill.” The council adjourns for a break. Soon after, the council members return, somewhat disheveled and bruised, and tell the pastor, “Klan won’t be burning any more crosses up there.” Later, the parish bought the property and built a church there with a big stained glass window in the front in the shape of a cross. Take that!

    • chezami

      Don’t screw with German Catholics.