WATCH- The Elaine Massacre: A Teach-In
Catch the replay of this teach-in about one of the bloodiest race riots in U.S. history.
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The Elaine Massacre occurred from September 30-October 2, 1919 after Black sharecroppers met at church to strategize about how to get fair prices for the cotton they picked.
White law enforcement officials pulled up outside of the church where the meeting took place and a shootout ensued. By the end, one officer was wounded and the other lay dead.
Word went out to the white community of a “Negro insurrection.” In response, white people formed armed posses and went looking for Black people.
The exact number of Black people lynched during this massacre may never be known, but estimates range near 200.
As significant as this tragic event is, few people know about it today.
Maybe it’s because these were poor, rural Black sharecroppers and not wealthy, urban people. Maybe it’s due to the deliberate conspiracy of silence by the white community who suppressed honest public dialogue about it.
Maybe it’s due to the danger and risk Black people faced if they spoke up about the murders. Maybe it’s also due to the trauma and the pain of the entire debacle.
In this teach-in, I discuss what happened over those fateful days in 1919. I also speak about the court cases that ensued and how Moore v. Dempsey helped lay the groundwork for the legal attacks against the Jim Crow regime during the Civil Rights movement.
I also introduce the Valley of Dry Bones documentary that I am helping to produce along with Nolan Dean of Cherry Street Productions.
If you care about U.S. history, our nation’s racial past and its legacy, labor organizing, and civil rights, you won’t want to miss “The Elaine Massacre: A Teach-In.”
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