Diane Rehm Show

I’m flying to DC this week to appear as a guest on the Diane Rehm Show, which is produced in the studios of WAMU FM and aired there and on many other NPR affiliates. Showtime (eastern time) is 11 AM to 12 Noon, live, on Wednesday, June 16th.

The topic: the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ll be there (in part) to offer input on what cases like the trial of Tom Robinson were really like back in the 30s and 40s. I’ve read the book a few times, of course, so I’ll be yapping away about the main subject at hand. Should be a great time. For more information on this excellent radio program, go here:


Later that day in Baltimore, I’ll be a guest on Michael Eric Dyson’s Show, which originates on the campus of Morgan State University. Not sure yet when that will be broadcast.



One response to “Diane Rehm Show

  1. I’ve read The Eyes of Willie McGee and To Kill a Mockingbird. I also listened to NPR today. I was hoping to ask your opinion about the differences between the two books, but the program ended before I had the chance.

    Willette Hawkins was a victim of rape and Willie McGee was a predator that was guilty of rape. Tom Robinson in to Kill a Mockingbird was innocent and the woman was guilty. To compare the two books is to insinuate that Willie McGee was on trial for a crime he did not commit. He admitted to the rape.

    Another big discrepancy is that Atticus was a man of integrity that didn’t lie to make his case. According to your book, Willie McGee’s defense and the communist party made up lies and turned it into a civil rights case which overshadowed his crime. The meshing of civil rights with the violence of rape is so unfair to those that support civil rights. How do you feel about that? Is it fair to African Americans that a man with no integrity is used to represent their fight? I believe it is such an injustice to all of the African American men with true integrity.

    A third thought comes to mind. Many drunks do not rape. Many rapists aren’t drunks.

    After all of your research, do you think Willie McGee raped others before he was caught? Rape is an act of violence. Did you get any ideas of what Willie McGee was so angry about ?

    I did not come away from your book with a clear idea of who Willette Hawkins was or how her husband dealt with all of this. What was her life like before and after? I’m also curious about the number of women who did not report rapes after this in fear of the public humiliation. The more I think about it, the more I realize how much damage Willie McGee and his defense did to hurt women of all races.

    I’m also left wondering what the other witnesses (the children) in the home recall. They were old enough to remember if they had seen this man before. They were also old enough to remember the night of the rape and afterwards.

    Finally, why wasn’t the fight about the injustice of execution as a punishment for rape? The lies and multiple stories this man and his defense told forced this trial to become about life and death. Perhaps he would have had life in prison if his white defense had fought the real issue. If men of all races were executed for rape, do you believe this case would have been as big?

    This was a lose-lose for all. How very sad for all of the pawns involved.

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