White Violence and Black Response: From Reconstruction to Montgomery

By Herbert Shapiro | Go to book overview

PART II
From 1900 to the "Red Summer"

The tree where the lynching occurred was right under the Mayor's window. Mayor
Dollins was standing in the window, not concerned about what they were doing to
the boy, but that the tree would be destroyed.

"The Waco Horror," Supplement to Crisis, July 1916

No colored man can read an account of the recent lynching at Gainesville, Fla.,
without being ashamed of his people. . . . Without resistance they let a white mob
whom they outnumbered two to one, torture, harry and murder their women, shoot
down innocent men entirely unconnected with the alleged crime, and finally to cap
the climax, they caught and surrendered the wretched man whose attempted arrest
caused the difficulty.

No people who behave with the absolute cowardice shown by these colored people
can hope to have the sympathy or help of the civilized folk. . . . In the last analysis
lynching of Negroes is going to stop in the South when the cowardly mob is faced
by effective guns in the hands of people determined to sell their souls dearly.

W. E. B. Du Bois, Crisis, October 1916, pp. 270-71

This boy asked to be allowed to go see his sick brother some four or five miles
away, and his request was not granted. He was compelled to work by force, and
had to ask for permission to leave before he could get away from the plantation.
He tried to get permission several times, and it was refused. He finally one Sunday
walked over to his mother's, and while there Mr. Dixon drove up with one of his
men and beat the boy in the presence of his mother unmercifully with a pistol until
he was bloody. Then the boy was tied around the neck, just as you tie an animal,
his hands were handcuffed behind him, and the other end of the rope was placed
in the hands of one of his men who was on a mule, and the boy was compelled to
run afoot for six or seven miles behind this mule, while Mr. Dixon himself followed
horseback whipping him whenever he would lag behind.

U.S. Attorney W. S. Reece, Jr., to Department of Justice, June 1903

-91-

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