The Smithsboro Case : The Case Of The Scottsboro Boys

Decent Essays
Scottsboro Boys Although the Great Depression of the 1930’s diminished the American economy, it did not alter the racist tendencies deeply ingrained within the South. One of the most notorious examples of such discrimination is the Scottsboro case; a case were nine black teenage boys were falsely arrested, imprisoned, and sentenced to death for the gang rape of two white women. On March 25th 1931, four black Chattanooga teenagers on a search for new government jobs and five other miscellaneous black teenagers from different locations in Georgia hopped upon the Southern Railroad freight train headed for Memphis, Tennessee. (Linder) After coming up victorious in a rock throwing altercation in the train with a gang out white teenagers, the nine “Scottsboro Boys” were greeted in Paint Rock, Alabama by an army of armed men rushing the freight train. The boys were then arrested for vagrancy and disorder (Brinley 570) Later, two unemployed, female mill workers, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, claimed that twelve black boys wielding knives and pistols gang raped them aboard the train. While the boys were held in prison, one of the girls, Victoria Price, positively identified six of the nine boys that she claimed had “raped her”. Soon the jail was surrounded by hundreds of men protesting for the lynching of the nine boys. The protest got so out of control, Alabama Governor, B. M Miller had to call in the National Guard to protect the boys. The boys underwent a grueling trail, which
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