Mike Wiley’s play about a murder in Oxford not only exposed audiences to a little known piece of American history, but it revealed a local connection to the Oxford tragedy.
Charlotte attorney James Ferguson was a special assistant to the Oxford prosecutor in the 1970 case. “Blood Done Signed My Name” examines how the murder of Henry “Dickie” Marrow in 1970 nearly ripped the town of Oxford apart. (It is based on Tim Tyson’s memoir of the same name.) Marrow’s death and the subsequent acquittal of the two white primary suspects led to angry marches by African Americans as well as the firebombing of white-owned tobacco warehouses. Tyson’s father Vernon was a Methodist preacher who tried to unite the community.
After Wednesday’s Charlotte performance, Ferguson said cases like this reminds us of the need to remain vigilant in the fight against injustice.
Read more about the play at Crossroadscharlotte.org