For All Those Men: When the KKK Threatened to Take Control of Louisiana
by John Warner Smith
About the Book
In the summer of 1922, two tragic events occurred in Louisiana, one in the north, the other in the south. Together, the events dramatically changed the state’s racial and political climate. In the south, twenty-six-year-old Emile Hebert, an African American farmer, was indicted for murder and assault, including the injury of Lafayette Parish Sheriff Felix Latiolais. Two months later in the north, two white men, F. W. Daniel and Thomas Richards, mysteriously disappeared in the plantation village of Mer Rouge. The Ku Klux Klan stood at the center of both events, as did Louisiana Governor John M. Parker. History makes no note of Hebert’s ordeal. Here, the Hebert trial takes center stage.
About the Author
John Warner Smith is a former poet laureate of Louisiana (2019–2021). He has published five collections of poetry, most recently Our Shut Eyes (MadHat Press, 2021). Smith is a 2020 Poets Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and is winner of the 2019 Linda Hodge Bromberg Literary Award. A Cave Canem Fellow, Smith earned his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans.
Praise for For All Those Men
"The 1922 murder trial of Emile Hebert — a Black man accused of killing a prominent south Louisiana resident and wounding the sheriff of Lafayette Parish — is remarkable on many levels. It brought out the Louisiana National Guard and the Ku Klux Klan, and attracted wide attention in the press. Because the KKK threatened to lynch Hebert before the trial, then-Governor John Parker took an active interest in the case, hoping to weaken the Klan. Nothing, however, made this trial more remarkable than the stunning, surprise ending rendered by the all-male, all-white jury. In this novella, John Warner Smith masterfully brings Emile Hebert and his sensational trial to life."—Robert Mann, Manship Chair in Journalism, Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.
"Courtrooms are theaters. Stage props move around. Pathos yields to fury. Arguments are declaimed. John Warner Smith’s riveting drama of a young Black sugar farmer tried for murder while defending his young family from white assailants on the muddy backroads of 1920s South Louisiana possesses all these elements and more. It took some trawling through fragmentary court records, sketchy news accounts, and family memories to piece this story together. It also took something more: creative imagination and a skilled pen."—Lawrence N. Powell, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Tulane University, and author of The Accidental City.
"John Warner Smith's novella For All Those Men is a suspenseful historical docudrama worthy of a major motion picture and a must-read for Louisiana history buffs. Based on an actual criminal trial, the story portrays an important yet little-known event in race relations in South-Central Louisiana at the peak of the Jim Crow era."—Rick Swanson, Ph.D., J.D., professor and Anthony Moroux/BORSF Endowed Professor of Political Science, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
© 2022 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press
Paperback | 6" x 9" | ISBN: 9781946160904