New book “Guilty When Black” Reveals Oklahoma’s Racial Inequities Linger Long After 1921 Race Massacre
TULSA, Okla: A new bombshell book released by Yorkshire Publishing exposes Oklahoma racial injustice — a broken criminal justice system, corrupt cops, and overbearing prosecutors who persist in sending marginalized citizens to prison until there’s hardly room to breathe — especially women.
Carol L. Mersch, an Oklahoma author and business entrepreneur (www.carolmersch.com), spent the past six years following the story of a young African American woman thrown into the center of a media frenzy and prosecutorial intimidation with no way out.
“Guilty When Black” is the poignant, gut-wrenching story of Miashah Moses, 23,who, through unrelenting media attention and a rush to judgment is charged with second-degree murder in the fiery deaths of her two small nieces, Noni, age four, and Nylah, 18 months. She had prepared lunch for them and left for eight minutes to empty the trash when the stove caught fire, a not uncommon occurrence at the low-rent apartment complex, according to electrical contractors.
Within 24 hours Miashah is charged with two counts of second-degree murder by Tulsa District Attorney Tim Harris who accused her of having a “depraved mind” and “malicious intent” when she left the children alone to die a horrific death.
The book’s four-part story, “Guilty When Black,” offers a rare glimpse into the unique challenges faced by minority and marginalized women in Oklahoma, a state with the highest rate of female incarceration in the nation according to the Prison Policy Initiative.
Miashah’s journey down the twisted road of injustice is intertwined with vivid stories of five incarcerated women, the fall of one judge and rise of another, and the landmark exoneration of three black men and others wrongfully sentenced for crimes they did not commit.
The non-fiction book is prefaced with a gripping account of the Tulsa 1921 Race Massacre, the largest slaughter of African Americans in U.S. history. The city’s affluent Greenwood district, known as the “Black Wall Street,” was left burned to the ground. An estimated 300 Greenwood men, women and children died in the assault. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRIGiHiPWCw
One hundred years later, the embers of that event still burn silently through the ranks of law enforcement and the halls of justice in Oklahoma. “The Watchmen,” a sci-fi modern-day version of the event garnered 11 Emmy awards this year for the HBO series. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2020-07-28/emmys-2020-nominations-watchmen-hbo.
Meanwhile, “the Oklahoma prosecutorial grinder continues to dump hundreds of misguided women into the machinery of the state’s criminal justice system to be ground like sausage into emotional and financial wrecks,” Mersch says
The CBS 60 Minutes segment “Failure to Protect” was an “eye-opening report on the problem in this state,” she added. “But it hardly scratches the surface of the inequities of justice in our society, in Oklahoma and beyond, in an age where Black lives, and all lives, should matter.”
Available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and BooksaMillion.com.