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"IF I WAS BITTER, THAT WOULD MEAN THEY WON." – Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

July 3rd, 2014 by Kendra Martin

Lorimer's Real Justice stories are short narrative biographies of young people who fell afoul of the justice system and were wrongfully convicted. Throughout their ordeals, they maintained their innocence and fought back, eventually proving that they were not guilty. 

With compelling storylines, a readable page layout, and black-and-white photos, these books are a must for young readers who like crime biography--but with a twist of social activism and awareness. Curriculum tie-ins to high school and middle school history, law, and social studies make them useful in the classroom. They are also useful for adult literacy programs in libraries and prisons. 

Here's some info on the latest in the series, coming fall 2014!

Real Justice: Jailed for Life for Being Black 

The Story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

Lorimer - Childrens - Blog - Hurricane Carter cover


Rubin Carter was in and out of reformatories and prisons from the age of twelve. At twenty-four, he became a winning professional boxer and was turning his life around. But Carter was very vocal about racism in the local New Jersey police force. In 1966, local policemen arrested Carter and a friend for a triple murder. The two were convicted and sent to jail for life. Carter spent nearly twenty years in jail, proclaiming his innocence. 

A teen from Brooklyn, Lesra Martin, heard Carter's story and believed he was innocent. He and a small group of Canadian lawyers contacted Carter and began working with Carter's lawyers in New York to get him exonerated. In 1985, a judge released Carter, ruling that Carter's conviction had been based not on evidence but on racism.

Photos (credit:

Lorimer - Childrens - Blog - Hurricane Carter boxer


 "There is no bitterness. If I was bitter, that would mean they won." - Rubin Carter 

Lorimer - Childrens - Blog - Hurricane Carter activist


"I never agreed to wear the prison clothes, eat the prison food.... I felt to do that would be to implicitly agree that I was a criminal settling into the routine of a prisoner who'd accepted that title..." - Rubin Carter  


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