Justice for the Black Knight by Jerri Blair
When Freddie Edwards was a kid, he used to pretend that he was a fantastic hero named the “Black Knight,” a being with the power to slay any foe and right any wrong. Growing up in the American South wasn’t particularly easy for Freddie, and he’s been dogged by racism even into adulthood. With multiple prison sentences and run-ins with the law, some might say that he hasn’t adjusted to well to modern society. Still, people that know him believe Freddie to be an honest and upstanding citizen. But that all changes once Freddie is put on trial for another man’s murder. Covered in blood, his fingerprints on the murder weapon, it’s impossible to claim that Freddie isn’t the perpetrator of this heinous crime. To make Freddie’s case even less concrete, he’s being defended by a second-rate lawyer, a man who ultimately assumes the very worst in people and probably doesn’t care a bit whether or not Freddie wins his freedom in the courtroom. When Freddie’s sister Ruby and childhood friend Annabelle are reunited for the murder trial, the two woman concoct a plan to help fish out the real story behind the murder. They have become the Black Knight’s only hope for survival.
With interesting characters and a unique premise, Justice for the Black Knight quite astutely tackles the topic of racism, combining the best elements of legal thrillers like The Firm with the exploratory and contemplative tone of subtle but powerful works of literature like Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Against the backdrop of a courtroom drama, Blair paints a condemning but sadly realistic picture of our country’s justice system and its numerous shortcomings, which, for many, is anything but just.
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