By M C Beamon
Randolph Gee is shot dead outside the burned Beulah Baptist Church,
in the small Southern town of Emerson Woods there is a witness.
A man fleeing the scene is described as Trevor Brown, a black man
who has been picketing the church. Trevor has been outspoken about
black churches being built in white neighborhoods.
fire of Beulah Baptist Church is linked to similar church arsons
throughout the South.
is arrested. He is harassed and beaten by some of the townspeople.
There is another witness who describes the person he saw fleeing
the crime, dressed in the same type of clothes, but as being a white
police overlook the description given by the second witness. It
is only through further investigation that they realize that they
should be looking for another man.
atmosphere of hate and prejudice is apparent throughout the book.
Eyewitness is well plotted, with the characters developed in depth.
The police and its operations are portrayed as typical of the times
is a powerful and timely story of how prejudice can color a person's
perception of what he sees.