In 1925, Detroit was a smoky swirl of jazz, speakeasies, and assembly lines and tensions often flared with the KKK in ascendance and violence rising. Ossian Sweet, a proud Negro doctorgrandson of a slavehad made the long climb from the ghetto to a home of his own. Yet just after his arrival, a mob gathered outside his house; suddenly shots rang out: Sweet, or one of his defenders, had accidentally killed one of the whites threatening their lives and home. And so it begana chain of events that brought Americas greatest attorney, Clarence Darrow, into the fray and transformed Sweet into a controversial symbol of equality. Historian Kevin Boyle weaves the police investigation and courtroom drama of Sweets murder trial into an unforgettable tapestry of narrative history that documents the volatile America of the 1920s and movingly re-creates the Sweet familys journey from slavery through the Great Migration to the middle class. Ossian Sweets story, so richly and poignantly captured here, is an epic tale of one man trapped by the battles of his eras changing times.