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In Marcha freight train crowded with homeless and jobless hoboes left Chattanooga, Tennessee, bound for points west. A short time after it crossed into Alabama, a fight erupted between two groups of hoboes, one black and one white. The train was stopped by an armed posse in the tiny town of Paint Rock, Alabama. Before anyone knew what had happened, two white women stepped from the shadows of a boxcar to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers aboard the train. So began one of the most ificant legal fights of the twentieth century. Before it was over, the Scottsboro affair — so-named for the little Alabama town where the nine were put on trial for their lives — would divide Americans along racial, political, and geographic lines.
It would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, and yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions. But for all its historical ificance, Ladies seeking sex Rock Mills Alabama Scottsboro story is at its core a riveting drama about the struggles of nine innocent young men for their lives-and a cautionary tale about using human beings as fodder for political causes. Allen, Inc. Hear the rattle of gravel as it rides whistling through the day and night. Not the old or the young on it, nor people with any difference in their color or shape, not girls or men, Negroes or white, but people with this in common: people that no one had use for, had nothing to give to, no place to offer, but the cars of a freight-train careening through Paint Rock, through Memphis, through town after town without halting.
Don't stir it up again. I said, 'well, it's a part of us. Then it becomes increasing confused. The image of the black man was that he was anxious at all times to rape a white woman. It was the Scottsboro case that met that issue head on. Louder: No! Organize, demonstrate, protest. Raise your voices. But that's the footnote to this story. The tragedy of this are nine boys lives hopelessly, eternally interrupted, sent cascading down ro of terror and imprisonment.
No, I don't think there's I don't think there's any way to see this story but as a great tragedy. On the morning of March 25,a freight Ladies seeking sex Rock Mills Alabama the Southern Rail Corporation left Chattanooga, Tennessee bound for points west. Scattered among the cars of the freight were some two dozen hoboes -- black and white.
The hand belonged to an 18 year-old named Haywood Patterson, who was on his way to Memphis to look for work. Voice of Patterson: We was just mindin' our own business, when one of them said, 'This is a white man's train. All you Nigger bastards unload. We got the best of it and threw them off. Word of the fight reached the tiny town of Paint Rock, Alabama, where the train was scheduled to stop and take on water. A posse is organized. Virtually every man in Paint Rock with a gun or a rope shows up. The train stops. The posse goes up and down the train looking in all the cars.
FLYNT: What they thought they were gonna find is a group of blacks who had beaten up a group of whites and thrown them off the train. Immediately unexpected things began to happen. That's what you most fear in a racial confrontation is the unexpected. They were wearing overalls. They identified themselves as Victoria Price and Ruby Bates. And there are conflicting s about who said what, when. But one of the young women said, 'we've been raped. All those colored boys raped us. They were intent on mayhem. Norris, audio: The place was surrounded with a mob.
They had shotguns, pistols, sticks, pieces a' iron, everything. The crowd commenced to hollerin' let's take these black son-or-a-bitches up here and put 'em to a tree. I just thought that I was gonna die. Clarence Norris. Broadway sent up to the store to get a skein, I never did hear that word before, a skein of ploughline, and the rope was cut into pieces where they could tie the hands of the ones that was under arrest.
And the next thing was, how we going to get them to Scottsboro? And we noticed a flatbed stake-body truck stop in front of the jail with a guard with rifles on each corner. They quickly unloaded the prisoners. The rumor was that they were going to go into the jail. There was already poles outside that they were going to break the door down with.
Norris, audio: Cars, trucks, they was comin' in all kinds of ways, the mob was. If you don't bring them out, we'll come in and get 'em. He went to the courthouse and called the governor. By the next morning, the National Guard had secured the jail while newspapers identified what one called "the nine Negro brutes.
Of the nine, only four had known each other before their arrest. Charlie Weems, the oldest, was 19; Eugene Williams, the youngest, Willie Roberson suffered from syphilis so severe he could barely walk.
Olin Montgomery, nearly blind, had been looking for a job to pay for a pair of glasses. Clarence Norris had left behind ten brothers and sisters in rural Georgia. Ozie Powell had been found riding alone. Andy Wright, 19, and his thirteen year-old brother Roy had ridden from Chattanooga together. It was Roy's first time away from home. Haywood Patterson had been riding the freight trains so long, he said he could light a butt in the wind from the top of a moving car. By the time the nine defendants had taken to the rails, the full brunt of the Depression had already struck the South.
And no state was hurting worse than Alabama. FLYNT: Alabama in the 's was literally a world coming apart, with massive unemployment in a state that had always been poor, with increasing conflict between both classes and races. It was a state that was in calamitous conditions, families were disintegrating. Hoboes were frequenting the railro by the thousands and the tens of thousands.
Like the nine alleged rapists, their two accusers had been driven onto the rails by economic necessity. Ruby Bates, 17, and Victoria Price, 21, hailed from the cotton center of Huntsville, 50 miles from Scottsboro. They worked together in the poorest of the town's textile mills. At 21, Price was already twice married and had served time in the workhouse for adultery and vagrancy.
She hardly fit the stereotype of the young Southern lady -- hard-talking, tobacco chewing, but a kind of feistiness to her. Ruby Bates is totally different. Very quiet, soft spoken.
In effect it was a kind of relationship in which Victoria totally dominated Ruby Bates. The mills in which the girls worked employed mostly young women. They labored up to 14 hours a day in deafening noise, air choked with cotton lint, and near complete darkness. Bywages in the mills had dropped so low that Victoria and Ruby could only afford to live in the black section of Huntsville where they occasionally traded sex with both black and white men for food and clothing.
But the second they accuse a black man of rape at least for an instant they became a pure white woman. The trials of the nine defendants for rape got under way on Monday, April 6 in the Scottsboro courthouse. It was a traditional trading day in town, but the usual crowd was swelled by thousands more from hundreds of miles around. Eventually, the largest crowd in Scottsboro's history squeezed into the courthouse square, as a brass band played "Dixie" and "Hail, hail, the gang's all here.
I saw a car-load over here and a carload over there. I saw Tennessee tags and Georgia tags. And some of them were armed, most of them had shotguns. So whenever the guard would pass, the crowd would push beyond the sting, and the guard would turn on his heels, throw his gun down, and say:' get back! The crowds outside the courthouse were drawn by what one newspaper called the "most unspeakable crime in the history of Alabama. Since the days of slavery and before, what was pd to be the black man's insatiable sexual appetite Ladies seeking sex Rock Mills Alabama white women had struck fear in the hearts of Southern whites.
The five thousand people who were lynched from tomost of those were cases of black men accused of raping or sexually assaulting a white woman. In the early 's the incidents of lynchings in the South had spiked upward, tracking the economic misery of poor whites.
But so too had the efforts of a small, but powerful faction opposed to lynching. With the Scottsboro trials, the anti-lynching forces hoped to prove that in Alabama the rule of law would prevail against the passions of the mob. Of showing to the world that they were capable of giving equal and fair justice to prisoners in the most emotional and threatening kinds of conditions.
Voice: There were six to me and three to her.Ladies seeking sex Rock Mills Alabama
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