Even while Brown v. Board of Education was making its way through the lower courts, Thurgood Marshall made many dangerous trips to small Southern towns to defend black men from corrupt prosecution. He took the case of four young men accused of raping a white girl in Groveland, Florida, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned the guilty verdicts in 1951. Despite that victory, the story did not end happily for the defendants. Gilbert King’s bestseller describing the tragic case made extensive use of LDF’s records at the Library of Congress, and won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. LDF’s Archives were critical to his research on the Groveland cases.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King speaks about his book “Devil in the Grove” and how the source material from LDF’s records was critical to the book’s development.
Included in the now-open portion of LDF’s records at the Library of Congress are important files about the Groveland Cases, which Gilbert King recounted powerfully in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Making of a New America (2012).