On January 10, 1966, Klansmen murdered civil rights leader Vernon Dahmer in Forrest County, Mississippi. Despite the FBIs growing conflict against the Klan, recent civil rights legislation, and progressive court rulings, the Imperial Wizard promised his men: no jury in Mississippi would convict a white man for killing a nigger. Yet this murder inspired change. Since the onset of the civil rights movement, local authorities had mitigated federal intervention by using subtle but insidious methods to suppress activism in public arenas. They perpetuated a myth of Forrest County as a bastion of moderation in a state notorious for extremism. To sustain that fiction, officials emphasized that Dahmers killers hailed from neighboring Jones County and pursued convictions vigorously. Although the Dahmer case became a watershed in the long struggle for racial justice, it also obscured Forrest Countys brutal racial history.Patricia Michelle Boyett debunks the myth of moderation by exploring the mob lynchings, police brutality, malicious prosecutions, and Klan terrorism that linked Forrest and Jones Counties since their founding. She traces how racial atrocities during World War II and the Cold War inspired local blacks to transform their counties into revolutionary battlefields of the movement. Their electrifying campaigns captured global attention, forced federal intervention, produced landmark trials, and chartered a significant postcivil rights crusade. By examining the interactions of black and white locals, state and federal actors, and visiting activists from settlement to contemporary times, Boyett presents a comprehensive portrait of one of the Souths most tortured and transformative landscapes.