Sister BPosted 3 months ago
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In December 1936, the body of a white male is found murdered in the alley way behind a Negro-owned night club in Vicksburg, Mississippi. No witnesses come forward and the police are baffled. Eventually, through the fine work of local law enforcement officials, a suspect is found ... a black male from Vicksburg. The police obtain evidence this man committed two crimes: the murder of that white male, and the rape of a white woman. Both are capital crimes punishable by death in the state of Mississippi when the perpetrator is a black person. Before he is brought to trial, a mob of white men storm the jail, grab the prisoner from the jailer’s custody and lynch him just outside of Vicksburg. The local African American community is outraged over this lynching given the charges brought without any evidence. Sister B is among those angry and vows not to let this happen to her little son. In the Spring of 1938, she leaves Mississippi for Los Angeles with the expectation her husband and son will join her later. A close childhood friend of Sister B is living and working in Oregon. The friend invites Sister B up for a visit and she accepts. In 1939 while traveling by train from Los Angeles, California to Coos County, Oregon, Sister B encounters a Japanese gentleman who is visiting America as a tourist. She notices that the gentleman from Japan is carrying sophisticated camera equipment and is taking an extraordinary number of photos as the train moves along its northbound coastal route. The two eventually engage in friendly conversation and become close traveling companions. However, that “closeness” is tested with the arrival of three other traveling companions on that fateful northbound train up the west coast. Sister B and the man from Japan learn that the juxtaposition of war and racism, of truth and deception, of triumph and tragedy, are ubiquitous in America and in Japan.