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UPDATE: Illinois Family of lynching victim to attend Rainbow PUSH News Conference, calling for federal Anti-Lynching Bill

May 4, 2018

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 4, 2018

 

UPDATE:

Family of Anthony Crawford, prominent black farmer lynched in South Carolina in 1916, will speak at Rainbow PUSH Coalition News Conference calling for passage of federal anti-lynching law after 200 failed attempts.

Crawford family fled South Carolina after lynching and settled in suburban Evanston, Illinois.

 

RAINBOW PUSH COALITION NEWS CONFERENCE

In Honor of 4,000 African American Men, Women and Children Lynched - Pass Federal Anti-Lynching Bill

 

CHICAGO – Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., grew up in the shadow of lynching and has “been haunted for most of my life,” by the brutal killing of a 24-year-old black man named Willie Earle.

 

Rev. Jackson was about six when a mob of 40 to 50 white men dragged Earle from the Pickens County Jail, some18 miles from Rev. Jackson’s home in his native Greenville, South Carolina, in the early morning hours of Feb. 17, 1947.

 

The white men – mostly cab drivers from Greenville – drove Earle in a 15-car caravan to a deserted country road, taunted him with threats, beat him with fists, pistol whipped him, cut and slashed him with knives and finally killed him with a shotgun blast to the head.

 

Then they drove back into town, leaving his body on the side of the road – a mutilated message of terror.

 

Earle was accused of robbing and stabbing a white cab driver the night before. The cabbie died about six hours after Earle was lynched. Twenty-six of the 28 white men arrested and tried for the killing gave full statements about their participation in the brutal murder.

 

All were acquitted. Black lives did not matter.

 

To this day, there is no federal anti-lynching law on the books. More than 200 attempts to pass one in Congress have failed.

 

Passing a bill is not just long overdue. For Rev. Jackson it is personal.

 

Rev. Jackson, and Congressmen Danny Davis and Bobby Rush will hold a news conference to call on Congress to right this terrible wrong and pass a federal anti-lynching bill in honor of the more than 4,000 black men, women and children lynched in the United States

 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

11:30 A.M.

Rainbow PUSH National Headquarters

930 E. 50th Street

Chicago

 

In 1981, Rev. Jackson again faced the terror of lynching. Michael Donald, a 19-year-old African American, was randomly kidnapped off the streets of Mobile, Ala., by two members of the Ku Klux Klan. They severely beat him and slit his throat.

 

Then they tied a noose around his neck and hanged him from a tree in a residential neighborhood. The local authorities initially dismissed the killing as a drug deal gone back.

 

At the request of Donald’s mother, Rev. Jackson traveled to Mobile and led a large demonstration, demanding the case be more thoroughly investigated.

 

“Michael Donald was hanged in a fashion that was meant to be reminiscent of the old lynching days,” journalist Ted Koppel, who produced a documentary on the case, told National Public Radio in 2008. “He was hanged in front of the home of the leader of the United Klans of America.

 

“You would think,” Koppel continued, “that there would be a clue or two that they [police] might have gotten. But it wasn’t until Jesse Jackson came to town and led some demonstrations in Mobile that people began looking into this.”

 

The United States has never fully come to grips with or healed from the nearly 100-year reign of racial terror and lynching that followed African Americans from slavery to freedom and sent millions fleeing the South for their lives.

 

Now is the time.

 

-30-

 

Don Terry
dterry@rainbowpush.org

 

Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.

 

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