Hayneville Essay

1000 WordsApr 24, 20114 Pages
Michael Johnson Interpretation of Return to Hayneville Class 1101, Mon and Wed 9:30 a.m. December 1, 2010 Word count 874 In Gregory Orr’s essay, “Return to Hayneville”, published by The Virginia Quarterly Review, Orr revisited the place of his abduction by armed vigilantes in Alabama as a Civil Rights worker in 1965. Even though the events of this essay take place in 1965, for Orr it started with the death of his younger brother in a hunting accident when Orr was twelve. Holding the gun that killed his younger brother, Orr believed that if his life began at twelve with his brother’s death, then his end, “determined by the trajectory of that harsh beginning, could easily have taken place six years later” (125, 1). Orr…show more content…
Jumping back into the past, Gregory Orr tells the incident when he and a group of five hundred of men, women, teenagers, and old folks assemble in Jackson, Mississippi. In Jackson for a peaceful demonstration, Gregory Orr and the rest of the group were arrested and taken away “to the county fairgrounds” (128, 1). Where they was beaten by officers of the law, Orr stated, “I emerged into the outdoors and the bright sunlight and saw them-two lines of about fifteen highway patrolmen on either side. I was ordered to walk, not run, between them. Again I was beaten with nightsticks, but this time more thoroughly, as I was the only target” (129, 2). Once freed from his captors, Gregory Orr gets in his car to head back north, but on his way back he was pulled over by flashing lights. Thinking it was the police; Gregory Orr pulled over and was approached by two white men. One of the white men said, “Get out, you son of a bitch, or I’ll blow your head off” (133, 3). The two white men takes Gregory Orr’s wallet and tell him to follow them, Scared for his life, Gregory Orr did exactly what the two men told him to do. After following the two men, Gregory Orr is back in jail in Hayneville. “Already depressed and disoriented by the ten days in jail in Jackson, I was even more frightened in Hayneville,” (136, 1) stated by Gregory Orr. Spending the eight days in jail in Hayneville, Gregory Orr was

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