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Sun Aug 18, 2019, 08:31 AM

Elaine, Arkansas: A rural town confronts its buried history of mass killings of black Americans

Source: The Guardian

A rural town confronts its buried history of mass killings of black Americans

100 years after hundreds of African Americans were reportedly killed in Elaine, Arkansas, a memorial is set to bring details of the tragedy to light

Teresa Krug
Sun 18 Aug 2019 07.00 BST

Charlie McClain was surprised to learn that he was related to one of the Elaine Twelve.

It came out when McClain, 58, asked his mother earlier this year about the largely forgotten mass killings in his Arkansas Delta home town a century ago, when white mobs murdered scores of African Americans, but only a dozen black men were ever prosecuted for any crime during the disturbances.

“When I got off the phone, I went back and looked at my notes, and I recognized the name: Paul Hall,” McClain said.

The Elaine Twelve were a group of black defendants sentenced to death for what transpired in the autumn of 1919, after an all-white jury found them guilty within eight minutes. Black witnesses later testified that they had been tortured into giving false testimonies and the 12 were eventually released – though no white people were ever charged for any crime.

-snip-

What happened a century ago is still a point of contention, but the general consensus today is this: a white mob, upset over African Americans organizing to demand fair wages, descended upon a church in the township of Hoop Spur, just up the road from Elaine, on 31 September 1919.

-snip-


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/18/a-rural-town-confronts-its-buried-history-of-mass-killings-of-black-americans

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Reply Elaine, Arkansas: A rural town confronts its buried history of mass killings of black Americans (Original post)
Eugene Aug 2019 OP
Kind of Blue Aug 2019 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun Aug 18, 2019, 09:53 AM

1. And yet some claim it never happened.

News of a “black insurrection” spread to neighboring communities and hundreds more white men poured in, including federal troops, the Arkansas governor, Charles Brough, and newly deputized soldiers from the American Legion.


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