People Wasn't Made to Burn: A True Story of Housing, Race, and Murder in Chicago

People Wasn't Made to Burn: A True Story of Housing, Race, and Murder in Chicago

by Joe Allen
People Wasn't Made to Burn: A True Story of Housing, Race, and Murder in Chicago

People Wasn't Made to Burn: A True Story of Housing, Race, and Murder in Chicago

by Joe Allen

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Overview

In 1947, James Hickman shot and killed the landlord he believed was responsible for a tragic fire that took the lives of four of his children on Chicago 's West Side. But a vibrant defense campaign, exposing the working poverty and racism that led to his crime, helped win Hickman 's freedom.

With a true-crime writer 's eye for suspense and a historian 's depth of knowledge, Joe Allen unearths the
compelling story of a campaign that stood up to Jim Crow well before the modern civil rights movement had even begun.

As deteriorating housing conditions and an accelerating foreclosure crisis combine to form a hauntingly similar set of circumstances to those that led to the Hickman case, Allen 's book restores to prominence a previously unknown story with profound relevance today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642593754
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Publication date: 12/08/2020
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Joe Allen worked for nearly a decade at UPS between its Watertown, Massachusetts and Chicago, Illinois Jefferson Street hubs. Starting out as a part-time loader he worked his way through a series of part-time sorting and driving jobs until his final year at UPS where he was a package car driver in Chicago's Loop. Allen's work life has largely revolved different sections of the freight and logistics including for such major employers as A.P.A Transport (Canton, Mass.), Yellow Freight (Maspeth, NY), and UPS. He has been a member of several Teamster local unions and a member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union. He campaigned for Ron Carey's reelection in 1996, and for Tom Leedham in the two following Teamster elections. Joe Allen lives in Chicago, IL.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Nobody knows about it" 1

"Mr. Hickman, I hate to tell you this" 7

"We was very anxious to get up north" 13

The Revolutionary 35

"Trapped like rats" 47

"This can happen to you" 57

"We the jury wish to go on record as condemning vigorously" 75

"God is my secret judge" 93

"Did shoot, kill and murder" 109

Free James Hickman 121

"Holocaust" on Ohio Street 147

"This man has paid enough" 171

Epilogue: "It was done at wrong time. Stupid." 189

Appendix: John Bardow Martin, Ben Shahn, and the Hickman Story 194

A Note on Sources 203

Acknowledgments 210

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