This month, we are lucky to have a book choice from Anthony Ray Hinton, activist, writer, and author of The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row.
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was wrongly convicted of murder in Birmingham, Alabama. He was sentenced to death and held on the state’s death row for 28 years. He was released in 2015, when the US Supreme Court unanimously overturned his conviction, after which the state dropped all charges against him. His memoir, The Sun Does Shine, is a miraculously hopeful, and exceptionally powerful, read.
We sent a message to Mr Hinton asking him to recommend a book and received this message in response:
“…he said that he wanted to recommend the James Baldwin book, Go Tell it On the Mountain, which was the first book he read on the death row book club he started in Holman prison. He said the book allowed them to both escape death row in their imagination but also have conversations that were meaningful about race and across race. The book allowed the men to share their own childhoods and early life struggles in a way they couldn’t do so with each other without the structure of talking about the book – at least in theory. The book helped them bond over something more than just survival. It painted the walls of death row with color and created a bigger world than what was in each of their small cells.”