To Kill a Mockingbird was written during the Great depression, a time of soup kitchens and bread lines.
The Scottsboro Case (1931)
Nine black teenage boys were accused of rape by two white girls. The trials of the boys lasted six years, with convictions, reversals, and numerous retrials. These trials were given the name The Scottsboro Trials, made national headlines, and drastically intensified the debate about race and racism in America.
A Century of Segregation
Interactive timeline from the PBS.
Shortly after the publication of TKAM, Harper Lee retired from public life. She gave a total of three interviews for TKAM. The links below are a reprint of two of the three interviews in which she discusses the writing process and the response to her book.