Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Historical Event at The Jackson County Alabama Courthouse, Advancements of a Nation and People, History of the Scottsboro Boys Trials - 1931 - 2011 - 80 Years of History
Friday, March 25th, 2011, 10:00AM, a ceremony began surrounding the bench of Judge A.E. Hawkins, the racist Jackson County Circuit Court Judge whose rulings resulted in one of the most heinous miscarriages of justice in our nations history, "The Scottsboro Boys Trials."
80 years to the day of the arrest of the Scottsboro defendants, 9 young men caught in the struggle of the Great Depression and a cultural war of racial discrimination and legal injustice of Jim Crow America. March the 25th 1931 began one of the most tragic events in American legal and cultural history lasting 45 years when Governor George Wallace of Alabama pardoned the last Scottsboro defendants, Clarence Norris in October of 1976. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scottsboro/scottsb.htm
Why you may ask is this a historical occasion, the Honorable Victoria Roberts, Presiding Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, a Black Woman. Judge Roberts sat behind the "bench" which Judge A.E. Hawkins presided in the "Scottsboro Boys" trials and told the story of the "Scottsboro Boys" trials and what the case represents to United States Jurisprudence today.
This week, April 4 thru April 8 2011, 80 years after the same days of 1931, marks the conviction and death sentence of Clarence Norris and Charlie Weems in their trial; Haywood Patterson's trial, sentenced to death; Andy Wright, Willie Roberson, Ozie Powell, Olen Montgomery and Eugene Williams trial, sentenced to death.
Roy Wright, alleged to be age 12 ( Evidence at the Decatur trials demonstrated he was 13, a juvenile at arrest.) was tried as an adult in a seperate trial, the jury could not reach a verdict due to his youth, a hung jury by one vote. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scottsboro/sb_acct.html
One day I pray and hope that we as a nation may be able to accept and judge all people based on their personal character, not the color of their skin or cultural background related to race, creed, sex or religious preference. Unfortunately, as a nation and culture we are not to that point at this time in our history but we have made advancements thru the sacrifices of a few. We as a people and nation have further to travel in the most deadly of wars, the "Culture War" for the souls of our citizens.
May God grant us the power to overcome racial prejudice. Education is the key to overcoming the ignorance of racial prejudice. Education is what the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center represents, it is our mission and represents our future. As history goes, the story has just begun,