In July 1976, a twenty-four-year-old white woman, Margo Olson, was found in a shallow grave in Stamford, Connecticut, with an arrowpiercing through her heart. A few weeks later, Howie Carter, her black boyfriend, was killed by the police. Howie and Margo’s interracial relationship held a distorted mirror to the author’s own, with Howie’s best friend, Joe. Joe’s theory was that the police didn’t have any evidence to arrest Howie; operating on the assumption that the black man is always guilty, they killed him instead. Margo’s murder was never solved. Looking back at what might have happened in 1976, JoeAnn Hart discovers a Bicentennial year steeped in recession, racism, and unrelenting violence. Stamford was in the midst of urban renewal, destroying historically black neighborhoods to create space for corporations escaping abankrupt and dangerous New York City, just forty miles away. Organized crime followed the money, infiltrating Stamford at all levels. Hart reveals how racism, misogyny, the economy, and corruption affected the youngpeople’s daily lives, and helped lead Margo and Howie to their deaths. JoeAnn Hart is author of the novel Float, a dark comedy about plastics in the ocean, and Addled, a social satire. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Since the murder of his son Galen in 1992 Greg Gibson has been an advocate for sensible gun laws. His first book, GONE BOY was, in part, a study of guns in America. Over the past fewyears he has concentrated on finding new ways of thinking and writing about the problem of gun violence.
This event first appeared on EssexCountyCreates.org