SCOTTSBORO STORIES, BLOG & NAVIGATION GUIDE

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The "Scottsboro Stories" blog reflects the writings, photographs, arrangements, opinions and musings of me, Garry L. Morgan, only. I do not represent the Scottsboro Boys Museum or the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation - the parent organization of the Scottsboro Boys Museum. I receive no profit from this endeavor. This blog is for educational purposes and that of open expression about racial and sexual discrimination, institutional and personal racism and the deadliest war of all time - "The Culture War."


SCOTTSBORO BOYS MUSEUM & CULTURAL CENTER OPENING STORIES

Article from the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce: http://www.jacksoncountychamber.com/news/community-news/152-scottsboro-boys-museum-and-cultural-center-opens

The Ledger: "Scottsboro, Ala., Museum Opens to Mark a Shameful Case " http://www.theledger.com/article/20100221/NEWS/2215011

Monday, March 31, 2014

Clarence Norris Estate Seeks Restitution

WAFF NEWS Ch 48 -  Scottsboro, Alabama - The estate of Clarence Norris is now seeking damages from the state for being wrongfully imprisoned. Hartline said the state passed a law in 2001, which allows people who receive pardons for being wrongfully accused to be eligible for $50,000 or more for each year spent in jail before the pardon was issued. http://www.waff.com/story/25122195/estate-of-scottsboro-boy-sues-for-wrongful-imprisonment

WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL
Hartline said they are petitioning the state for 15 years, which equals a minimum of $750,000.

Read the petition filed on behalf of Norris' estate here. Summary  |  Supporting documents



University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Law Bio on Clarence Norris, Sr.- Clarence Norris died in Bronx Community Hospital on Janurary 23, 1989 at the age of seventy-six.  He was, as the title of a book he helped write suggested, the last of the Scottsboro Boys.

Norris was the second of eleven children born to Georgia sharecroppers.  He attended school only to second grade, then at age seven began working in the cotton fields.  Norris had a job in a Goodyear plant, working up to sixteen hours a day, when his girlfriend left and he decided to hit the railroad tracks.

When Norris, who had been one of those involved in the train fight with white boys, was accused of rape he thought he "was as good as dead."  According to Norris, on the night before the first trial, he was removed from his cell, beaten and told to turn state's evidence if he wanted to save his life.  At the first trial in Scottsboro, Norris testified that theother blacks raped Price and Bates and that he alone was innocent: "They all raped her, everyone of them."

Norris's second conviction was overturned by the U. S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Norris vs Alabama, which found Alabama's system of excluding blacks from jury rolls to violate the Fourteenth Amendment.  Norris was convicted a third time in 1937 (in what Norris termed "a Kangaroo Court"), and again sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison by Governor Graves.  Norris was bitter over developments which left him and four others in prison, while four boys were released.  He believed that he was paying the price for their freedom.
Norris fought often in prison.  One incident in 1943 landed him ten days in the hole with only a blanket, bread, and water.  Another incident brought on a beating with a leather strap.

Norris was first paroled in 1944.  He moved to New York in violation of his parole, and was returned to prison.  In 1946, he was a paroled a second time.  He got a job shoveling coal in Cleveland for three years, then moved to New York City.  Unemployed in 1956, Norris visited Samuel Liebowitz who arranged a job for him as a dishwasher.

In the 1960's, Norris asked the help of the NAACP in obtaining a pardon from the State of Alabama.  Norris had violated parole when he left Alabama and was a fugitive subject to parole revocation and a return to prison.  A successful full-scale campaign was mounted, and in 1976 Norris received his pardon from Governor George Wallace. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/scottsboro/SB_bSBs.html#The%20Scottsboro%20Boys

Alabama Heritage, Summer 2012, The Improbable Pardon of Clarence Norris: http://www.alabamaheritage.com/Scottsboro/ALH_Reidy_Awaiting%20Justice.pdf

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alabama House Bill (HB) 320 - Appropriations for the Scottsboro Boys Museum

Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center Scottsboro, Alabama (photo by G. Morgan)
 
A BILLTO BE ENTITLED AN ACT to make an appropriation of $100,000 from the State General Fund to the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, to require an operations plan and an audited financial statement prior to the release of any funds, and to require quarterly and end of year performance reports.
 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:
Section 1. For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, there is hereby appropriated to the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center from the State General Fund the sum of $100,000. In addition, the appropriation made herein shall be budgeted and allotted pursuant to the Budget Management Act and Article 4 of Title 41 of the Code of Alabama, 1975, and specifically Section 41-4-93, Section 41-4-95 and Section 41-4-96.
Section 2. Prior to the release of any funds appropriated under this bill for fiscal year 2014-2015, an operations plan for fiscal year 2014-2015 and an audited financial statement for all operations during fiscal year 2012-2013 must be forwarded to the Director of Finance. It is the intent to release fiscal year 2014-2015 funds following receipts of these reports.
Section 3. In addition, quarterly reports for fiscal year 2014-2015 shall be made to the Director of Finance relating actual expenditures and accomplishments. An end of year performance report for the fiscal year 2014-2015 shall be made to the Director of Finance stating the work accomplished and services provided and the costs of accomplishing the work and providing the services, citing meaningful measures of program effectiveness and costs, as is required for state agencies in Code of Alabama 1975, Section 41-19-11. The Director of Finance shall forward a coy of all required reports to the Joint Fiscal Committee in a timely manner.
Section 4. This act shall become effective October 1, 2014. - See more at: http://openbama.org/bill/9681/text#sthash.tVTxP324.dpuf
 
1-21-2014 HB - Read for the first time and referred to the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee
 
Bill Sponsors and Co-Sponsors
 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Overcoming Racial Discrimination - Correcting the Record, Medal of Honors to be Awarded

 
Stars and Stripes, Feb 21, 2014: "...In 2002, Congress, through the Defense Authorization Act, called for a review of Jewish-American and Hispanic-American veteran war records from these wars, to ensure those deserving the Medal of Honor were not denied because of prejudice."

"During the review, records of several white soldiers were also found to display criteria worthy of the Medal of Honor. The 2002 Act was amended to allow these soldiers to be honored with the upgrade — in addition to the Jewish and Hispanic American Soldiers."  http://www.stripes.com/news/special-reports/medal-of-honor/obama-to-award-24-medals-of-honor-1.269228


Vietnam vet Santiago Erevia: SanAntonio, Tx. Stars and Stripes, Feb 22, 2014 - "Former Sgt. Santiago Erevia remembers the day in May 1969 when his Army unit came under heavy enemy fire in Vietnam. While crawling from one wounded solder to the next, the radio telephone operator used two M-16s and several grenades to single-handedly destroy four enemy bunkers and their occupants."

"Mr. Erevia is one of 24 veterans who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to receive the U.S. military's highest honor after a congressionally mandated review of minorities who may have been passed over because of long-held prejudices. The veterans — most of Hispanic or Jewish heritage — will be recognized in a March 18 ceremony that will try to correct the long-ignored ethnic and religious discrimination in the armed forces."  http://www.stripes.com/news/army/vietnam-vet-santiago-erevia-glad-to-receive-medal-of-honor-1.269513#.UwlgFiHkxiQ.facebook
 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Black History Month 2014

DOD Black History Month 2014
 
"When Carter G. Woodson established Negro History week in 1926, he
realized the importance of providing a theme to focus the attention of
the public.  The intention has never been to dictate or limit the
exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public's
attention important developments that merit emphasis. "

"For those interested in the study of identity and ideology, an
exploration of ASALH's Black History themes is itself instructive.  Over
the years, the themes reflect changes in how people of African
descent in the United States have viewed themselves, the influence of
social movements on racial ideologies, and the aspirations of the black
community."

"The changes notwithstanding, the list reveals an overarching
continuity in ASALH--our dedication to exploring historical issues of
importance to people of African descent and race relations in America."

--Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University http://asalh.org/blackhistorythemes.html


SLAVERY IN AMERICA SERIES




DOD NEWS - Obama Proclaims National African American History Month - See more at:  http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2014/02/president-obama-issues-national-african-american-history-month-proclamation/#sthash.l6uPvXHs.dpuf

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Americans have long celebrated our Nation as a beacon of liberty and opportunity -- home to patriots who threw off an empire, refuge to multitudes who fled oppression and despair. Yet we must also remember that while many came to our shores to pursue their own measure of freedom, hundreds of thousands arrived in chains. Through centuries of struggle, and through the toil of generations, African Americans have claimed rights long denied. During National African American History Month, we honor the men and women at the heart of this journey -- from engineers of the Underground Railroad to educators who answered a free people's call for a free mind, from patriots who proved that valor knows no color to demonstrators who gathered on the battlefields of justice and marched our Nation toward a brighter day.

As we pay tribute to the heroes, sung and unsung, of African-American history, we recall the inner strength that sustained millions in bondage. We remember the courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register their neighbors to vote. And we carry forward the unyielding hope that guided a movement as it bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. Even while we seek to dull the scars of slavery and legalized discrimination, we hold fast to the values gained through centuries of trial and suffering.

Every American can draw strength from the story of hard-won progress, which not only defines the African-American experience, but also lies at the heart of our Nation as a whole. This story affirms that freedom is a gift from God, but it must be secured by His people here on earth. It inspires a new generation of leaders, and it teaches us all that when we come together in common purpose, we can right the wrongs of history and make our world anew.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2014 as National African American History Month. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA