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State of Things
Mon October 15, 2012
Meet Walter Bennett
There’s a scene in Walter Bennett’s new novel "Leaving Tuscaloosa" (Fuze Publishing/2012) that will send chills down your spine. It’s 1962 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a group of young white men ride through the African-American part of town throwing eggs and hurling racial taunts. The scene is based on an experience from Walter Bennett’s adolescence and it still bothers him.
The novel brings alive the racial tensions of the American South during the final days of Jim Crow. Walter Bennett left Tuscaloosa for college, Vietnam and law school. He had a long career as a civil rights attorney and as a juvenile court judge. He retired recently from teaching law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to write this novel. Walter joins host Frank Stasio to talk about “Leaving Tuscaloosa” and his life.