Courtesy of Harpo Studios & The Oprah Winfrey Show

In January 2003, Joyce King was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show at Harpo Studios in Chicago. Her primary thesis, from June 1998 to 2018, remains the same: “Justice can open the door to healing.”

When the hardback of Hate Crime was first released in 2002, Joyce was harshly critiqued for writing a book that almost no one wanted to read. She heard from countless Americans who judged her, judged the book, by the title alone. Now, the time has come to read, and better understand, this compelling true story.

Joyce did not rely on news articles and second-hand accounts of what happened to James Byrd, Jr. in the early hours of Sunday, June 7, 1998. She covered all three “dragging trials” of the men accused in one of the most horrific modern-day crimes in history. “If my readers have the courage to start page one, I can guarantee them one thing,” King said. “And, that is, they are never alone in this book.”

After the 2003 release of the paperback, Joyce was invited to Chicago to participate in the show Oprah taped on Jasper, Texas. Not only did Joyce King deliver the truth, she remains friends, to this day, with Jasper County Sheriff Billy Rowles.

This segment from The Oprah Winfrey Show was kept in a vault for 15 years and only released in 2017. Please watch.

Learn More About Hate Crime...

On June 7, 1998, James Byrd, Jr., a forty-nine-year old black man, was dragged to his death while chained to the back of a pickup truck driven by three young white men. It happened just outside of Jasper, a sleepy East Texas logging town that, within twenty-four hours of the discovery of the murder, would be inextricably linked in the nation’s imagination to an exceptionally brutal, modern-day lynching.

Hate Crime audio book available! Narrated by the talented Jennifer Van Dyck


The goal of our '1 Million Readers' Campaign is to share this intimate journey to justice with world citizens who have the courage to read, buy, gift, or listen to HATE CRIME: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas (Random House 2002). Please ask your neighbor, a friend, or a college student to learn more about the hate crime that shocked the world. Did you know the first trial was dubbed the "Texas Trial of the Century?" Do you remember the punishments for John William King and the other two men convicted of capital murder? Find out. Join our 1 Million Readers campaign today.

Read. Listen. Learn.

Proceeds from 1 Million Readers will support criminal justice reform and reviews of wrongful convictions

Learn More About The Author

As an SMU Honors Department Lecturer and a William S. Morris Distinguished Lecturer for Texas Tech, King was honored to share with, and learn from, the brilliant, gifted students who read HATE CRIME: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas (Random House 2002).

King has spent her adult life working to help individuals and communities seeking restorative and equal justice. She uses her pen, and voice, to teach, to offer a different perspective, and, to advocate for those who are often absent from the discussion.

Thank you for visiting this site. Here, you will find just a few examples of King’s published works on race, justice, history and healing. We hope you will have the courage to read Hate Crime, also available as an Audible book.

Hidden History In Texas