Uploaded by Kacie Weymouth

TKAM History Presentation

To Kill a
Harper Lee
About the Author
Harper Lee
Born April 28, 1926 in Monroeville,
Her first and only novel To Kill a
Mockingbird was published in 1960.
In 1960 she won the Pulitzer Prize
for fiction.
Lee continued to receive awards after
the book’s publication.
In November of 2007 she was
awarded the Presidential Medal of
Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian
award) for her contribution to
American literature.
More Connections
Amasa Lee, Harper’s father, was also a
Her mother’s name: Frances Cunningham
Finch Lee
Dill’s character is based on Harper Lee’s
childhood friend Truman Capote, who also
was a novelist like her. He based characters
from his novel on her as well and dedicated
In Cold Blood to her.
1930s – Depression Era
1930s – allusion to FDR in
“[Maycomb County] had
recently been told it had
nothing to fear but fear
itself” (6).
Maycomb resembles the reallife town of Monroeville,
Historical Significance
Maycomb, AL bears a striking
resemblance to Monroeville, AL.
Lee was six years old at the start of the
Scottsboro trial and Scout is six years
old at the beginning of the Robinson
Similarities exist between the Robinson
trial in the text and the Scottsboro trial
of the 1930’s.
Both trials involve black men wrongfully
charged with raping white women.
Scottsboro Boys’ Trial
9 young AfricanAmerican men
(13-20) accused
of raping 2 white
girls in 1931
sentenced to
Trials went on
for nearly 15
years before all
the men were
More on the Scottsboro
Started on a train bound for
Several white men boarded
and picked a fight with the
black men
Whites were forced off train
by the black men. The
white men reported that
the black men had raped
two white girls on the train
to authorities
They were immediately
arrested and tried in front
of an all-white jury.
The Conclusion of the
Scottsboro Boys’ Trial
In 1932, the United States Supreme Court
reversed the decision of the lower court due to
the lack of effective counsel and the Scottsboro
Boys received new trials
During the retrials, the alleged victim admitted
to fabricating the rape story
The boys were still found guilty
During the third trial, the jury (now with one
black member on board) still found the boys
So what became of the Scottsboro Boys??
Charges were dropped for 4 out of the 9
All but two defendents served time
One defendent was shot by a prison guard
Two escaped, reoffended, and were sent back to
Clarence Norris, the oldest defendent, was on death
row when he was pardoned by George Wallace,
45th Governor of Alabama, in 1976. Norris wrote a
book about his experiences titled The Man From
The last surviving defendent died in 1989.
The alleged victims: Victoria Price and Ruby Bates
Social Acceptance
Family’s prestige is based on how long the
family has lived in Maycomb.
Black people are in the lower class.
Drunks are in the lower class.
Prejudice, racism, and discrimination are
socially accepted.
Generally, black people worked as servants or
Children respect their elders.
Girls are to be ladies and boys are to be
Since To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in the
1930s, social segregation is still prevalent in many
southern states.
White people would not speak to black people on
the street. It was not socially accepted.
Blacks and whites attended separate schools in the
1930s. Segregation was not abolished until 1954 in
the famous case Brown vs. Board of Education.
Blacks lived in separate areas of town, usually the
Jim Crowe laws followed the motto: “separate but
equal” which, therefore, supported segregation.
The poorest white person was considered to have a
higher status than the wealthiest black person.
Definition: (n) the quality of being just;
righteousness, equitableness, or moral
Basically justice is the act of being fair
and unbiased
Atticus Finch, Scout and Jem’s father,
is a lawyer and therefore, must
understand what justice is. He works
toward justice for the sake of Tom
Quotations for Thought
So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses....
That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be
stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we
need a police force of children. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a
Mockingbird, Chapter 16, spoken by the character Atticus
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the
idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you
know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and
you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but
sometimes you do. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter
11, spoken by the character Atticus
It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns
and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever
lived. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11