Local Issues

GoFundMe: Court Records for the Whitehurst Case

So I’ve been writing this book on the Whitehurst Case, which I have arranged into seven chapters, and here I am, stalled at chapter four. The first three chapters are largely finished, though probably in need of a little editorial work, since I’ve been looking at them for so long. It’s chapter four that is giving me fits.

After setting up Montgomery’s historical background in chapter one, investigating who Bernard Whitehurst, Jr. was in chapter two, and discussing the shooting in chapter three, chapter four delves into the controversy— the part people don’t seem to want to talk about. Chapters five, six and seven – which are about Emory Folmar’s administration, the family’s long-term struggles and modern-day events, respectively – are more fleshed out than chapter four, which covers 1976 and early 1977. Chapter four is the Whitehurst Case.

Because so many of the people involved in those events have passed away, I need access to the federal court records of Whitehurst v. Wright, et al., which was the wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Montgomery. However, the substantial fees associated with ordering the twelve boxes of records are prohibitive— at least, they are for me. To bring those boxes out of storage in Atlanta, the courts charge, I was told, $65 to get started and $35 per box, followed by fifty cents per photocopy and fees for transcribing testimony. Just to get the boxes would cost me $485 . . . that I don’t have. (If you’ve read my posts on Sallie Mae, you know I don’t have money laying around.) By my estimate, I’ll need a couple hundred more dollars for copies and transcriptions.

So I’ve created a GoFundMe account called “Book about The Whitehurst Case,” in which I’m trying to raise the money to pay those fees. If you can help me out, please do. This money is not for me personally. I’m not pocketing any of it. I only want to have the funds to get those records, so I can finalize my research and write this important story in the most factual and accurate way.

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