Reading progress update: I've read 10% of Darktown by Thomas Mullen...

Darktown: A Novel - Thomas Mullen

...and you know that feeling you get when you start a book and you KNOW that it's going to be a good one? Yeah, that. I have it. 

 

From the description: 

 

Responding from pressure on high, the Atlanta police department is forced to hire its first black officers in 1948. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers and their authority is limited: They can’t arrest white suspects; they can’t drive a squad car; they can’t even use the police headquarters and must instead operate out of the basement of a gym.

 

From the intro:

 

"I must tell you, it was not easy for me to raise my right hand and say, 'I, Willard Strickland, a Negro, do solemnly swear to perform the duties of a Negro Policeman.'"

 

-Officer Willard Strickland, Atlanta Police Department, Retired, in a 1977 speech recalling his 1948 induction as one of the city's first eight African American officers.

 

 

 

As you may have guessed, this book is based on a true story.