Scottsboro Boy

By Haywood Patterson; Earl Conrad | Go to book overview

Edmonds I showed Kelly the drain on my leg the first day I was sent into the field. The guards, they knew about it. All the men in my squad, they knew it. "You just chased me out of your office," I said.

I was expecting a serious beating after Edmonds left, but I didn't get it. The warden feared it that white people were interested in me, especially Alabama people. They never had a Negro to stand before them and expose them like that. Not in their presence. Negro prisoners mostly talked to one another about such things. I had nothing to lose, and told the truth.

It had a good effect.

The next day Deputy Warden Lambert called me and said, " Haywood, I'm not going to check you out for a while. You ain't able to do a full day's work like the others. I'm going to let you piddle around in the yard for a while till you gain your health back. But don't think you are Mister Haywood Patterson because I'm letting you do this."


Chapter 2

FOR several months I had a soft job. I worked on the prison yard keeping it clean. I got up about four o'clock in the morning-- like everyone--but I was through work four hours later. That was just when the others were beginning to sweat. My job, it was to take care of the front yard of the prison. The rest of the day I loafed. I got acquainted with prisoners, guards, and the things that went on. In the evening when the farm work was finished and the prisoners came in from the fields hell opened its mouth in the barracks. . . .

Before I got here I heard tell of the gal-boy life at Atmore. Gal-boy stuff went on at Kilby and at Birmingham jail too. All prisons all over, I guess, but I wasn't interested in it. I was a man who wanted women. But this was the main thing going on among the Atmore prisoners. It was on all sides, like the walls. They built "covered wagons" or "hunks" around the beds. That screened out what went on inside the bunks. I heard the boys talking about

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Scottsboro Boy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Part One: - The Big Frame 1
  • Chapter 1 3
  • Chapter 2 10
  • Chapter 3 15
  • Chapter 5 21
  • Chapter 6 24
  • Chapter 7 30
  • Chapter 8 35
  • Chapter 9 44
  • Chapter II 57
  • Part Two: - Murderers' Home: 1937-1943 71
  • Chapter 1 73
  • Chapter 3 79
  • Chapter 4 85
  • Chapter 5 98
  • Chapter 6 102
  • Chapter 7 116
  • Chapter 10 140
  • Part Three - Kilby: 1943-1948 169
  • Chapter 3 190
  • Chapter 5 202
  • Chapter 6 208
  • Chapter 7 215
  • Timetable of Events in the Scottsboro Case 299
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