Lynch Street: The May 1970 Slayings at Jackson State College

By Tim Spofford | Go to book overview

5

JACKTWO

The government's work is always conspicuous for
excellence, solidity, thoroughness, neatness.
The government does its work well in the first
place, and then takes care of it.

—Mark Twain

At dawn on Friday, May 15, the students dozing on blankets in front of Alexander Hall began to stir. Rubbing their eyes and folding their grass‐ stained blankets, they arose for their first daylight glimpse at the destruction on their campus.

It was a damp and misty dawn, sixty degrees, as the black students stood on the lawn and stared at the dormitory walls. It was true. It had really happened. It was not just a nightmare.

The students saw their dorm's brick walls were stippled by buckshot. The windows were shattered in the first-floor lobby. As they walked toward the Lynch Street sidewalk, they passed a bloodstain in the grass beside a small magnolia tree. From the sidewalk, they stared at the towerlike, five-story stairwell of the west wing. It looked like the target of an infantry assault. Two six-foot-tall windows—one on the second and one on the fourth floor—had been blown out by gunblasts. The drapes, shredded by gunfire, flapped in the morning breeze. The steel panels under the windows had been hit so many times they looked like blue-green Swiss cheese. Bullet holes in the dorm's concrete walls were bigger than silver dollars.

"It wasn't till that morning in the sunlight that I looked at that building," recalls Stella Spinks, one of the wounded students. "The dorm was all shot up. I didn't think it could be that bad. Then I realized they came here to kill all of us. It was God's blessing that more us weren't hurt, because they came to kill."

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Lynch Street: The May 1970 Slayings at Jackson State College
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Lynch Street - The May 1970 Slayings at Jackson State College *
  • Contents *
  • 1 - Strange Roots *
  • 2 - Mayday in Amerika *
  • 3 - The Miniriot *
  • 4 - By the Magnolia Tree *
  • 5 - Jacktwo *
  • 6 - Yoknapatawpha in Black *
  • 7 - Crisis *
  • 8 - Majesty of the Law *
  • 9 - Showdown *
  • 10 - Nixon's Court *
  • Epilogue *
  • Sources and Methods *
  • Index *
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