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Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching
by Julie Buckner Armstrong


Overview -

"Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching" traces the reaction of activists, artists, writers, and local residents to the brutal lynching of a pregnant woman near Valdosta, Georgia. In 1918, the murder of a white farmer led to a week of mob violence that claimed the lives of at least eleven African Americans, including Hayes Turner.  Read more...


 
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More About Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching by Julie Buckner Armstrong
 
 
 
Overview

"Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching" traces the reaction of activists, artists, writers, and local residents to the brutal lynching of a pregnant woman near Valdosta, Georgia. In 1918, the murder of a white farmer led to a week of mob violence that claimed the lives of at least eleven African Americans, including Hayes Turner. When his wife Mary vowed to press charges against the killers, she too fell victim to the mob.

Mary's lynching was particularly brutal and involved the grisly death of her eight-month-old fetus. It led to both an entrenched local silence and a widespread national response in newspaper and magazine accounts, visual art, film, literature, and public memorials. Turner's story became a centerpiece of the Anti-Lynching Crusaders campaign for the 1922 Dyer Bill, which sought to make lynching a federal crime. Julie Buckner Armstrong explores the complex and contradictory ways this horrific event was remembered in works such as Walter White's report in the NAACP's newspaper the "Crisis," the "Kabnis" section of Jean Toomer's "Cane," Angelina Weld GrimkE's short story "Goldie," and Meta Fuller's sculpture "Mary Turner: A Silent Protest against Mob Violence."

Like those of Emmett Till and Leo Frank, Turner's story continues to resonate on multiple levels. Armstrong's work provides insight into the different roles black women played in the history of lynching: as victims, as loved ones left behind, and as those who fought back. The crime continues to defy conventional forms of representation, illustrating what can, and cannot, be said about lynching and revealing the difficulty and necessity of confronting this nation's legacy of racial violence.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780820337661
  • ISBN-10: 0820337668
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publish Date: August 2011
  • Page Count: 264


Related Categories

Books > History > United States - 20th Century
Books > Social Science > Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General
Books > Social Science > Violence in Society

 
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