The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472

The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender to Number 45472

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 1569765677

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was riding a wave of success. The survivor of a difficult youth, he rose to become a top contender for the middleweight boxing crown. But his career crashed to a halt on May 26, 1967, when he and another man were found guilty of the murder of three white people and sentenced to three consecutive life terms.

            Written from prison and first published in 1974, The Sixteenth Round chronicles Hurricane's journey from the ring to solitary confinement. The book was his cry for help to the public, an attempt to set the record straight and force a new trial. Bob Dylan wrote his classic anthem "Hurricane" about his struggle, and Muhammad Ali and thousands of others took up his cause. The power of Carter's voice, as well as his ironic humor, makes this an eloquent, soul-stirring account of a remarkable life.

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can be forgotten in this case that as an outstanding athlete and in a sense a person [in] whom the public would have a greater interest than ordinarily, because that is our culture, sports figures are sometimes—well, they are just sometimes people in whom the general public is so interested that they have a strange position when something begins to embroil them, in a sense. “This is a disadvantage to any person. He suffers when he is a little out of the ordinary, whether he is an athlete or a

Franklins and his wrinkled-up suits, and after Arnold Stein had spoken for John, he slouched up in front of the jury box to deliver his summation. Would the verdict be life imprisonment, or death? Acquittal now seemed out of the question, and conviction for murder in the first degree meant the electric chair at that time. But the state had a built-in conscience-soother to pacify the jury of my “peers.” If the panel could believe us guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but considered other,

the same popularity I once had among the Apaches. There was nothing mysterious or supernatural about my leadership ability, and I will always believe it was only a consolation prize for being shortchanged in the speech department. Whatever the reason, when anyone had a problem of some sort, he would usually come to me for a solution. And I, not knowing what else to do, would try to help him as best I could. Also, a truce surprisingly developed between Mr. Grey and myself. From my looks and my

natural life. A young man in the prime of his years, he was too helpless to hold down a job anywhere but at this cesspool. If one can picture such a person, he would see our Mr. Lightfoot in totality. Before anything untoward could develop in the basement, the chow whistle blew, and sixty famished inmates bolted for the mess hall—and the mess. But when we returned, the sixty energetic juveniles sitting in the room created a vibrant air of restraint. To my ears, the mere shuffling of restless

the guys had a legitimate gripe. But nobody had to worry about me messing with their women. I was having enough troubles of my own. I just couldn’t seem to get myself together, and I guess that was my own fault, since I wouldn’t talk to anybody. Until one day I met Ali Hasson Muhammad. Then everything started falling in place. I believe there is an old saying that likens a child to a piece of carbon paper upon which each passerby leaves a mark. It was this way with Hasson and me. He made a

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