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."


The Ledger: "Scottsboro, Ala., Museum Opens to Mark a Shameful Case "

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Scottsboro Boys Museum/ Interpretive Center Open House at the Historic Joyce Chapel in Scottsboro, Alabama

The Scottsboro Jackson County Multi-Cultural Heritage Foundation held an Open House at the historic Joyce Chapel Methodist Church in Scottsboro Sunday, December 20th, 2009, to showcase the future home of the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. Joyce Chapel, built in 1878 and rebuilt in 1904, is the oldest African American Church in existence in Jackson County Alabama, it is located at 428 West Willow Street in Scottsboro, Alabama.
The Multi-Cultural Heritage Foundation is a 501C3 non-profit organization. Donations are graciously accepted and may be mailed to the Scottsboro Jackson County Multi-Cultural Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 1557, Scottsboro, Alabama, 35768
The Scottsboro Boys and their attorney Samuel Liebowitz.
"The saga of the Scottsboro Boys demonstrated the deep seated, racist, white fear of the alleged black male rapist – in this case in the guise of youth.It likewise illustrated the power of this fear to override evidence and reason in the determination of guilt and innocence.
The issue was neither guilt nor innocence; rather it was the maintenance of white supremacy and the repression of black freedom. Nevertheless, the concerted and inspiring efforts to undo the wrongs against the Scottsboro Boys contributed significantly to the ongoing African-American Freedom Struggle and the interrelated struggle to defeat Jim Crow."
Sheila Washington and her son. Sheila has been a driving force for the museum; Sheila had this to say about the project. "From 17 years old until now, it's been my dream to have a museum to honor the Scottsboro Boys. To think about the positive side of how it effected change to the Constitution and affected all our lives. We're not focusing on any bad things. We're going after the change this case brought about." More on Sheila's story may be seen on "Left in Alabama."

Pictured left to right, Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter, Ms. Sheila Washington and Rev. Tom Bell, Superintendent of the Northeast District for the United Methodist Church and Trustee of Alabama A&M University ( )
It is Ms. Washington whose idea that has been the driving force behind this project. The book titled the "Scottsboro Boy" sparked Ms. Washington's interest in the case when she was 18. Ms Washington stated, "I discovered the book hidden under a bed." Ms. Washington addedthat originally her parents had forbid her from reading the book, they were afraid of the emotional damage it might cause.

Ms. Caldwell plays Christmas music during the open house. Other singers included Ms. Stephanie Speers and Ms. Rebeca Parrish.

Pictured left to right: Ms. Washington, Rev. Tom Bell and Mr. Charles Rhodes, District Attorney for Jackson County Alabama.

Pictured left to right: Ms Washington, and Mr. & Mrs. J.D. Stevens of Scottsboro.

Ms. Cheryl Snodgrass-Caffey (center of photo) discusses the displays and the Scottsboro Boys Case with members of the community.

Pictured left to right: Mr. Horrace Clemmons, Commissioner District 4, Jackson County Commission, Ms. Washington and Ms. Clemmons.

There were 52 people who attended the open house. Displays of art, poetry and history of the Scottsboro Boys Case were set up around the historic church.
Article from "Left in Alabama:"
Huntsville Times article: "Remembering Scottsboro Boys," Monday, December 21, 2009 By David Brewer
SCOTTSBORO - Frigid temperatures Sunday could not keep Doris Baker of Decatur from driving here to attend an open house at the 131-year-old Joyce United Methodist Church where the Scottsboro Boys Museum will officially open on Feb. 1.
"I've led many protests," Baker, a civil rights activist, said as she looked at photographs of the early 1930s trials of nine black men accused of raping two white women. "But one of the things that gives me strength" in the fight against social injustice "is things like this..."
Rest of the story may be read at the below link.
Unfortunately this project has had its detractors due to racism and bigotry in the community. Threats were made early on in the process to Mr. J.P. Parsons, Tourism Director, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.
Threats of arson and racial hate speech have been conveyed on local internet discussion forums, Forum on December 16, 2009 between the hours of 11:24PM and 11:31PM. 1) "LET US ALL KNOW WHEN YOU GET THAT BLACK MUSEUM BUILT AND WE WILL BURN IT DOWN WITHIN THE MONTH." 2) "someone needs to take hussein obammy out soon." 3) "you idiots in scottsboro do what you want. you only making fools of yourselves.did the good white people hang any blacks 130 years ago? blacks get to much as it is.oh the good ole days with the cotton being pick. they knew their place then."
"Left in Alabama" You Tube Video: Many thanks to "Left in Alabama," excellent article and video, very professional job.
We must learn the lessons of our history or we will surely repeat our mistakes.

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