BLACK WOMEN IN AMERICA: BLACK WOMEN LYNCHED

Black women lynched in America.

Say the words, and you are met with either blank stares, shakes of the head, or outright disbelief.

But, as little known to people as it is, over 200 Black women and girls were lynched in America, of the known Black women who were lynched.

I originally posted on the lynching of Black women in America  here.

The following newspaper articles are actual accounts written at the time of each woman’s lynching. The articles attest to the horror and cruelty of America’s racial nadir from 1890 all the way through the 1960s.

Racial hatred that included the vicious murder of many Black women and girls.

*******************************************************************

CHICAGO RECORD HERALD

WOMAN PLEADING INNOCENCE LYNCHED AS CHILD POISONER

July 27, 1903

Shreveport, La., — Jennie Steers, a negro woman, who, it was charged, gave 16 year old Elizabeth Dolan a glass of lemonade, causing her death, was lynched on the Beard plantation near here last night. The mob took her to a tree, placed a rope around her neck and demanded a confession. The woman refused and was hanged.

NEW YORK PRESS/VICKSBURG (MISSISSIPPI) EVENING POST

LYNCHED NEGRO AND WIFE MUTILATED AND BURNED

February 8, 1904

Doddsville, Miss., Feb. 7 — Luther Holbert and his wife, negroes, were burned at the stake here to-day by a mob of more than 1,000 persons for the killing of James Eastland, a prominent white planter, and John Carr, a negro, on Wednesday, at the Eastland plantation, two miles from this city.

The burning of Holbert and his wife closes a tragedy which has cost eight lives, has engaged 200 men and two packs of bloodhounds in a four days’ chase across four Counties, and has stirred this section of Mississippi almost to a frenzy.

Following are the dead: James Eastland, white, planter, killed by Holbert; John Carr, a negro, killed by Holt; John Winters, negro, killed by Eastland, three unknown negroes, killed by posses. The killing of Eastland, Carr and Winters occurred Wednesday at Eastland’s plantation. Holbert and Winters were in Carr’s cabin when Eastland entered and ordered Holbert to leave the plantation. A difficulty ensued, in which it is alleged that Holbert opened fire on Eastland, fatally wounding him and killing Carr. Eastland returned the fire and killed Winters.

When news of the tragedy reached Doddsville a posse was formed and left immediately for Eastland’s plantation. Arriving there further shooting occurred, and an unknown negro was killed. Holbert and his wife had fled. Posses were formed at Greenville, Ittaben, Cleveland and other points and the pursuit of Holbert and his wife was begun with horses and bloodhounds. The chase, which was begun Wednesday morning, was continued until last night, when Holbert and his wife, worn out from traveling over 100 miles on foot through canebrakes and swamps, were found asleep in a heavy belt of timber three miles east of Sheppardstown and captured. The two negroes were brought to Doddsville and this afternoon were burned at the stake by a large mob in the shadow of the negro church here.

An eyewitness to the lynching of Luther Holbert and his wife, …..today gave the Evening Post the following details concerning retribution extracted from the couple prior to their cremation yesterday:
“When the two Negroes were captured, they were tied to trees and while the funeral pyres were being prepared, they were forced to hold out their hands while one finger at a time was chopped off. The fingers were distributed as souvenirs. The ears of the murderers were cut off. Holbert was beaten severely, his skull was fractured and one of his eyes, knocked out with a stick, hung by a shred from the socket.

“Some of the mob used a large corkscrew to bore into the flesh of the man and woman. It was applied to their arms, legs and body, then pulled out, the spirals tearing out big pieces of raw, quivering flesh every time it was withdrawn.”

The dead couple leave a young son.

NEGRO WOMAN AND THREE NEGRO MEN LYNCHED

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER

January 23, 1912

Hamilton, Ga., Jan. 23—A mob of 100 men tonight broke into the Harris County jail, overpowered Jailor E. M. Robinson and took four negroes, three men and one woman out and hung them to trees one mile from town. They then riddled the bodies with bullets. It is estimated that 300 shots were fired.

Last Sunday, while Norman Hadley, a well-to-do young married farmer, was sitting in his home, a shot was fired through the window and he fell dead.

That afternoon four negro tenants, Belle Hathaway, John Moore, Eugene Hamming and “Dusty” Cruthfield, were arrested, charged with the crime.

Sheriff Hadley, who is an uncle of the dead man, feared no lynching and tonight he is in Columbus. Public sentiment, however, had been crystallizing here all day to day and by nightfall there were a great many country people in Hamilton.

Their number was constantly augmented and by 9 o’clock fully 100 men had congregated in front of the court house in which the jail is located. Despite the pleas of Jailer Robinson they advanced on the calaboose and, throwing him to one side, broke the doors down. The terrified negroes were hustled out at the point of guns and marched outside the town. There they were quickly strung up.

Immediately their writhing bodies became silhouetted against the sky, revolvers and rifles blazed forth and fully 300 shots were fired before the mob dispersed. The negroes protested their innocence to the last, but the mob would have none of it.

NEGRO MOTHER AND CHILD KILLED

MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER

March 13, 1913

Henderson, N. C., Mar. 12 —Two negroes, a woman and a child, were killed and two negro men probably fatally wounded early today when unidentified persons after pouring kerosene on the home of Joe Perry, a negro living ten miles from this place, set it on fire, and poured a fusillade of bullets into the blazing structure as its occupants attempted to escape. The dead are Joe Perry’s wife and her child and the wounded Joe Perry and his brother John. There are no clues. Sheriff Royster has gone to the scene.

SOURCE: All of the above, cited from One Hundred Years of Lynching, by Ralph Ginzburg

INVESTIGATION BY THE NAACP

MAGGIE HOWZE AND ALMA HOWZE

Mississippi, 1918.

On Friday night, December 20, 1918, four Negroes, Andrew Clark, age 15; Major Clark, age 20; Maggie Howze, age 20; and Alma Howze, age 16, were taken from the little jail at Shutuba and lynched on a bridge over the Chickasaw River. They were suspected of having murdered a Dr. E. L. Johnston, a dentist.

An investigation disclosed the following facts:  That Dr. Johnston was living in illicit relations with Maggie Howze and Alma Howze. That Major Clark, a youth working on Johnston’s plantation wished to marry Maggie. That Dr. Johnston went to Clark and told him to leave his woman alone. That this led to a quarrel, made the more bitter when it was found that Maggie was to have a child by Dr. Johnston and that the younger sister was also pregnant, said to be by Dr. Johnston.

Shortly after this Johnston was mysteriously murdered. There were two theories as to his death:

-one, that he was killed by Clark; the other that he was killed by a white man who had accused him of seducing a white woman.

It was generally admitted that Johnston was a loose character.

Alma Howze was so near to motherhood when lynched that it was said by an eyewitness at her burial on the second day following, that the movements of her unborn child could be detected.

NAACP, 30 Years of Lynching in the United States (New York: NAACP, 1919)

SOURCE: Black Women in White America, by Gerda Lerner

One of the most heinous and sadistic lynchings was that of Mary Turner:

TAUGHT A LESSON

“In May, 1918, a white plantation owner in Brooks County, Georgia, got into a quarrel with one of his colored tenants and the tenant killed him. A mob sought to avenge his death but could not find the suspected man. They therefore lynched another colored man named Hayes Turner. His wife, Mary Turner, threatened to have members of the mob arrested. The mob therefore started after her. She fled from home and was found there the next morning. She was in the eighth month of pregnancy but the mob of several hundred took her to a small stream, tied her ankles together and hung her on a tree head downwards. Gasoline was thrown on her clothes and she was set on fire. One of the members of the mob took a knife and split her abdomen open so that the unborn child fell from her womb to the ground and the child’s head was crushed under the heel of another member of the mob; Mary Turner’s body was finally riddled with bullets.”

SOURCE: One Hundred Years of Lynching, by Ralph Ginzburg

MARY TURNER PROJECT

There are many more whose lives were taken from them by the lynch mob, based on the “charges” levied against them to enable the mob to carry out its unjust extralegal vengeance:

-Cordella Stevenson (for being a Black woman)

-Laura Nelson (murder)

-Rosa Richardson (murder)

-Marie Scott (murder)

-Ballie Crutchfield (theft)

-Meta Hicks (husband accused of murder)

-Sarah Cabiness: lynched along with her four children (threatening a white man)

Of the above, only the lynching of Laura Nelson and her son, Lawrence, are there photos that document the lynching of a Black family:

THE FINAL SOLUTION

Oklahoma, 1911.  At Okemah, Oklahoma, Laura Nelson, a colored woman, accused of murdering a deputy sheriff who had discovered stolen goods in her house, was lynched together with her son, a boy of about fifteen. The woman and her son were taken from the jail, dragged about six miles to the Canadian River, and hanged from a bridge. The woman was raped by members of the mob before she was hanged.”

SOURCE: Black Women in White America, by Gerda Lerna

Laura Nelson.   (The barefoot corpse of Laura Nelson. May 25, 1911, Okemah, Oklahoma. Gelatin silver print. Real photo postcard. 3 1/2 x 5 1/2″ Etched in the negative:”copyright-1911-g.h.farnum, okemah. okla 2898.” Stamp on reverse, “unmailable.” Photographer: George H. Farnum, 1911.

This is the only known photo of a lynched black woman. Laura was murdered with her 14-year-old son Lawrence, after he was castrated by members of the mob, in Okemah, Oklahoma in 1911. She was raped by members of the mob, before she and her child were brutally murdered.

The lynching of Laura Nelson and her son, several dozen onlookers. May 25, 1911, Okemah, Oklahoma. Gelatin silver print. Real photo postcard. 5 1/2 x 3 1/2″

Etched in the negative: “1911 copy right, g.h. farnum, okemah. okla\ 2897.”

The lynching of Lawrence W. Nelson, May 25, 1911 in Okemah, Oklahoma. Gelatin silver print. Real photo postcard. 3 1/2 x 5 1/2. Etched in the negative: “copyright-1911-g.h.farnum, Okemah. Okla 2894.” Photo by George H. Farnum. The image was published in 1911 as a postcard.

The history of the lynching of Black women is unknown to many people.

Revealing a light on this most hateful history of America chips away at the veneer of a nation’s hypocrisy in its venomous mistreatment of its most defenseless citizens.

A time when life for Black Americans was a life without sanctuary.

About these ads

25 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

25 responses to “BLACK WOMEN IN AMERICA: BLACK WOMEN LYNCHED

  1. Beverley J Ifedi

    I cannot believe this happened in America. But I do believe. I have been reading The American Journey as part of my pre nursing program at Nova, and I am now beginning to understand why African Americans in this country are so bitter. This country for years has done nothing but dehumanized the black race. The whites have slaughtered and made the blacks bitter. I am totally disgusted that even now, I feel that we have no voice. It’s a disgrace, and they should have compensated all these people for the destruction on their generations for so many years. Total shame and disgrace!

    • carrie

      We must loose ourselves from the past and try to move on. There is no future in the burdens of the past. We have for so long carried the hurt and fears that were our forefathers that they have now overtaken the generation of today. They are angry, and undicided as how to move forward. Missed opportunities for the black race is due mostly to looking back instead of forward, because there is no belief that one can succeed. Let’s have faith that there is a way to make things happen and move torward them.

      • kjay cruz

        i would never loose myself sorry for you to say that its because of our history that put you me and everyone else right where they are today im 22 and coming into knowledge of knowing what happened to my people is a disgrace to human kind even today its still racial things goin on all over the world but the problem today is people like you have forgotten where we as coloreds have come from so you dont care about sticking togather havinh unity nor finding out more about your own history youd rather let the white man lie to you and hide the truth instead of doin your own research the past plays a big part in todays society my people wake up but father forgive them for what they dont kno………………………

      • Sibusisiwe

        Carrie you are so backwards and confused til it’s sad. I will NEVER forget what happened to my people and for the previous comment it’s not about Blacks being bitter. It has nothing to do with being bitter. Whites cannot seem to grasp the spiritual and cultural connection to remembering one’s ancestors. What you call bitter, we call remembrance. It’s that simple.

        As far as Carrie, I have no words for you. No words at all. I just pray other Black women will do our just duty and teach our sons and daughters the truth and not white washed lies found in textbooks.

        To my ancestors, I will never forget and I am so glad I am making my journey to go back home to Africa. They never asked for this. They were forced into slavery. If we want to do any justice by our ancestors the first step is to know who we are and be proud of and reclaim everything that was ruthlessly and savagely stolen from us.

      • carla johnson

        you want to forget about it because it was probably your ancestors who murdered so many black people. Black people need to know there past and there ancestors so they know what they went thru-the black holocaust destroyed a race of black people . You want to hide it but if you don’t know your history you don’t know who you are-white people in America were worse than Hitler to black people , they even feed black babies and children to alligators, sick demonic people. and they still mistreat black in America. They sold are ancestors children all over the world- to never know who there family is -raped are women and men . crucified blacks for over 400 years – white people were the same as (hitler) and no one is forgetting anything -you sound like a fool- it wasn’t your race of people destroyed and brainwashed with white lies- stop telling black people to forget their ancestors – forget yours they were demonds

  2. Joyce

    Thank you for posting this. I knew about Laura Nelson, but was not familiar with the other women.

  3. jane

    Black people Must Never Forget What was done to our People how dare you suggest we forget, you would never tell the Jews to forget, the holocaust well what about the Black Holocaust our young people today are angry and they dont know why because a people can never move forward if they dont know were they have come from, over 100milion Black lives were taken a third of that number just from the Middle passage, 4 hundred years of Free forced labor and than another 80 years of Jim crow laws , Black people have lived in terror in this country, read the secret relationship between blacks and Jews and it will become clear WHY we can Never forget it should be taught in school what this country of whites have done to the darker people of the earth.

  4. If we forget, it becomes easier to be repeated. The natural mindset says, “Surely, not here – this couldn’t happen here in America!” Yes, it can…

  5. Darcel

    Thank you for posting this! Like the Jews say, “Zacar!” Remember!! It is important to never forget! What is sad is that our government never made a formal apology and atonement for the wrongs against Africans and African Americans! Maybe because they are not not sorry and the unjust judicial system still is their way to enslave people of color. The more things change the more they remain the same!

  6. Wow, in the back of my mind I know women and children probably were lynched, but most of the time you don’t hear about it. Sometimes I don’t like to look at stuff from our past because it hurts so much and it makes my blood boil, but you all are right. We need to remember, but just pray God heals our hearts so that we don’t hold resentment and be bitter. I always imagine how horrific life was for our ancestors, and I think to myself, could I have been as strong as they were? Could I have been as brave as they were? So bold, so brave, so courageous. Honestly, it’s really not that long ago. We are steal reaping the reprecussions of hateful people.

  7. TRENT

    I AM SAD AND APPALED THAT THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA STILL RE FUSES TO COMPENSATE THE TULSA VICTIMS AND GIVE A FORMAL APOLOGY TO THE BLACK PEOPLE IN OKLAHOMA.

  8. I am ashamed about what my ancestors and the people of America have done to the black people in this country. I apologize for them. I am deeply sorry for the hurt that they have caused you and your ancestors.

  9. natasha

    It breaks my heart to know how cruel not only the treatment of my ancestors was not only in life but death…TORTURED…KILLED…BODIES DESTROYED..RAPED….CASTRATED…WHAT did we EVER do to deserve such HATRED. To fight back apparently meant to SUFFER a sadistic death at the hands of crazy people. I can’t imagine the fear..the pain..the thoughts of my ancestors. GOD BLESS our hurting generation who has NEVER recovered but instead been labeled as lazy and ignorant…It’s so sad. It’s easy for the ancestors of these murders to suggest we, ‘LET IT GO..MOVE ON’. But HOW can we let go what has only changed in nature? Or memories so horrific?
    BRAVO for POSTING! God Bless Healing

  10. TheFamouslyDead

    Don’t you know that including the crimes of murder that these people were lynched for is racist. Your not supposed to acknowledge that part of the story.

  11. joyce

    There is a book called The Raping of Nanking about the massacre of Chinese by Japanese soldiers in the 1930’s. There is a play called Parade about the 1912 lynching of a Jewish man. There is the Jewish Holocaust that Jews never wish to forget. Why on earth should African American hide or forget the American history of black lynching? It is a part our history we should never forget.

  12. tracy

    What is so sad is that most of you people up here posting cannot spell or barely put a sentence together. You keep insulting the white man but what about the blacks who owned slaves? What about the African tribes who sold their own people? And still are?

    • Luba Dumenco

      Complex comment from Tracy. Perhaps instead of the inflamed comments there should be an increased sense of education about revisionist history???? Yes, it is well known that historically most cultures sell their conquests. Whites are no exception to the rule. African slavery began with the war lords selling African slaves to other countries and nations. This is simular to whites selling other whites into slavery. Might be a good idea to discuss Irish slaves sold by the Brits into the American slave systemalong with other Black slaves. Though the Irish were called “indentured servants”, it was a nice way of hiding the fact they slaved along with and intermingled with African slaves in every way possible.

      • Elizabeth G

        Is this post about slavery or lynching? seems to me that both were horrific forms of brutalities upon African Americans. When White could no longer legally shackle us in bondage, they found a new method, even more brutal than slavery ( ;lynching). Not just any kind of lynching, black lynching, codified with castration , lynching, rape, disembowelment, mutilations, body torching, and other forms of horrific brutalities. After all they needed still to believe that their enslavement of us was morally justified and their defeat in the Civil War has made them suffering martyrs at the hands of the evil North which blacks represented. And their horrific lynchings were gods will, a true Jihad, sick and perverted of a people who never really learned that God did not make the world exclusively for them.

  13. Our children are all taught about the Holocaust. We have to start teaching them about our own Holocaust right here in good ole USA. Maybe we should send these article to some of the Miami Dolphins’ players.

  14. Lisa Washington

    If you dont remember the past you are doomed to repeat it

  15. Roger Wallace

    They demonize us for wanting reparations, and we love them! But on the other hand they throw money, and prosperity at the ones that hate them the most,the ARAB:-). Just wait and see. We know who they are, they are the ones that captured us and sold us to the Caucasian in the first place, but NEGROES don’t know this fact so bow to the east and pray to their god five times a day!

  16. Roger Wallace

    For the sins against us, America must pay, not with money but with blood. God will chastise a nation as easily as a man. Read if you will the book of HABAKKUK. Woe unto America:-(

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s