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Picking Cotton

In: English and Literature

Submitted By SHELTRON
Words 1108
Pages 5
Shelton Harris PSY-150-01

Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton

With Erin Torneo St. Martin’s Press, 2009

Picking Cotton was an extremely well read. I also enjoyed the fact that it took place in North Carolina, particularly Burlington. The books other settings include various prisons in the North Carolina/Tennessee areas. The main idea of the book is based off of the events that happened around 3:00 a.m., one hot Sunday morning in July of 1984. Jennifer Thompson-Cannino (then just Jennifer Thompson), a Caucasian college student in the area, was awakened by an African-American in her apartment, and eventually taunted and raped. Although one might say that Jennifer is the main focus of the book, another might say the main focus is on another individual: Ronald Cotton; the man accused of the crimes against Jennifer Thompson and eventually another woman, by the name of Mary Reynolds, who, in my opinion, holds a generally insignificant role in the book. Jennifer Thompson was fairly short and blonde haired, I believe I read that she was nineteen at the time. She seemed like any other normal college female, it didn’t seem as though she was one to stand out in a crowd, her personality seemed polite, and she had “normal” relationships with friends, family and her boyfriend at the time: Paul, who was from Burlington, but was enrolled in school in Chapel Hill. She did some partying, occasionally, and dabbled in illegal drugs. However, in my opinion, she did not seem like a reckless soul.

Ronald Cotton was twenty-two, fairly tall, and had a lanky figure. He lived in some low-income housing projects in the area and seemed like a normal young man, who worked for a living and led a seemingly normal life. However, dating outside your race was frowned upon deeply in the area at the time, and Ronald used to flirt with Caucasian females…...

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