Author signing: Melton McLaurin & Anne Russell - Wayward Girls of Samarcand
In 1931, sixteen adolescent girls were charged with the death penalty by the State of North Carolina for setting two fires at Samarcand reform school for poor whites near the wealthy resort of Pinehurst.
News & Observer columnist and activist Nell Battle Lewis defended the girls by exposing brutal physical and emotional abuse at the direction of school superintendent Agnes B. MacNaughton. N.C.’s eugenics program and involuntary sterilization are also part of this true story.
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