Grace Elizabeth Hale grew up hearing that the real-life heroism of her grandfather mirrored the fictional courageous confrontation of Atticus Finch, the hero of "To Kill A Mockingbird."

While she had been told her grandfather, a county sheriff in Mississippi had protected a Black man from a lynch mob, who then died in his custody the following day trying to escape — the facts showed a different story.

"I knew the story that I had been told... but it just made it clear that none of it was true, that this was a big cover up," Hale told Under the Radar.

During her research as a historian and scholar, Hale uncovered the shocking details of one lynching that exposed the truth of her family lore. In fact, Hale’s home state of Mississippi holds the record for the most lynchings in the country.

“In the Pines: A Lynching, A Lie, A Reckoning” documents Hale's family history, and the bloody vigilante tradition embedded in the nation’s history.


Grace Elizabeth Hale, professor of American Studies and History at the University of Virginia and author of "In the Pines: A Lynching, A Lie, A Reckoning"