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Alabama researcher demands justice for lynched Blacks
By Saeed Shabazz
Staff Writer
Updated Dec 28, 2002 - 12:48:00 PM

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(FinalCall.com) - There are many people alive today, who participated in the lynching murders of Black men and women, according to Dr. Danny Blanchard of Alabama.

Researchers say from 1882 to 1968, 581 Blacks were lynched in the state of Mississippi, making it the number one state in America for such murders. Georgia was second with 531 and Texas third with 493 lynchings.

Researchers say 3,446 Blacks were lynched in America, during the above period.

Dr. Blanchard works as an assistant to Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. But his passion is bringing to justice those who have not paid the price for lynching Blacks. "There are some dedicated students working with me, who do not get paid for this. I want to emphasize that," Dr. Blanchard stressed. The students have been threatened so many times that Dr. Blanchard declined to name what organizations are involved, or what schools his student helpers attend.

The research is not just for the sake of research, he stressed. "We want people arrested and jailed for these crimes," Dr. Blanchard demanded.

Stewart E. Tolmay and E.M. Beck, in their book "A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882–1930," said 94 percent of Black victims died at the hands of White mobs, and that the number one purpose for lynching was to "maintain social order over the Black population through terrorism."

Another salient point in their book: "In every southern state there was an assault on any Black that contested the privileges of Whites or threatened to hinder White domination of the Black population."

The authors concluded that by looking at the number of Blacks lynched—2,500 victims during their period of research—a Black man, woman or child was murdered nearly "once a week."

Crime Magazine, an Internet "encyclopedia of crime" posts lynching photographs on its web site. Their introduction reads: "There are many photographs, showing a group of U.S. citizens attending the most inhumane butchery imaginable, and getting away with it."

"They won’t be getting away with their crimes much longer," vows Dr. Blanchard. His group has studied many photographs taken at lynchings. "If a person is just standing there watching, they are still guilty of the lynching," Dr. Blanchard said. "We have 17 lynching cases here in Alabama that we are prepared to take to the state’s attorney general," he said. Dr. Blanchard is also glad to see a plethora of lynching research coming forth. "It is important to know the reasons behind these lynchings," he said.

Attorney generals throughout the south should get ready for a renewed demand for justice and solving these racially motivated murders, Dr. Blanchard said.

Given speculation that there is enough evidence to re-open the case of the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till in Mississippi, Dr. Blanchard believes national interest in bringing Whites to justice will rise in the Black community. Min. Benjamin Muhammad, director of the New York-based Hip Hop Summit Action Network, said Blacks in America have been complacent for "too long." Issues such as the unsolved murder of Emmett Till must serve as a wake- up call to Blacks that racist conditions of the past 400-years have not disappeared, he said. The Till killing was meant to intimidate Blacks, who were standing up and demanding justice, said the former civil rights leader.

Activists working on lynching research say people must first be re-educated. They say that stories such as the May 1918 lynching of Mary Turner in Brooks County, Ga. must be told. Activists believe that when people hear these stories, people will demand action.

Mary Turner was a pregnant Black woman lynched by a mob because she complained that her husband, Hayes Taylor, was hanged for a crime he did not commit. She was hanged, burned and her eight-month-old baby was cut out of her stomach and beaten before being burned. The legend that now surrounds Mary Turner is that the unborn baby after being ripped from its mother’s womb "let out a pleading cry" when killed by the mob. No one was ever arrested for the murder of Mary Turner, her baby, nor her husband.

"We have heard that cry," said Dr. Blanchard.


 


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