In this episode, we join a busload of determined Civil Rights marchers as they venture into a Georgia County equally determined to preserve a 75-year history of racial purity. It's another dark-but-important story from Southern history.
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Forsyth County, 1912.
The title picture above ran in the Atlanta Constitution in October of 1912, and is believed to depict Oscar Daniel, Tony Howell, Ed Collins, and -- in the lower right corner -- Ernest Knox. The events of that year culminated in the hangings of young Oscar and Ernest, and sparked the racial purge that lasted into the 1980s.
The photo below, also believed to be from 1912, depicts Sheriff Bill Reid (left) and his deputy Mitchell Lummus.
While the Sheriff did prevent some mob actions, he did vanish when the mob came for Rob Edwards. His name would later turn up of the rolls of the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.
Above, the crowd begins to disperse after the double hanging on October 25, 1912.
The march and the rally.
Fast forward to 1987, when the county's practical ban on black residents was challenged by the Brotherhood Marchers.
Above, segregationist protesters prepare to attack the marchers in January 1987. (Steve Deal/Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Counter protesters crowd the road to Cumming, GA. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Civil rights leader Hosea Williams leads the march amid intensifying protests. (Augusta Chronicle)
Another demonstrator at the 1987 Brotherhood March (Forsyth County News)
Oprah did a jarring episode with county residents in 1987. Below is a short excerpt.
Find out more.
Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America is a gripping exploration of a century in Forsyth County. Author Patrick Phillips actually lived in the county as a teenager, and his tale combines thoughtfulness with thorough research. We recommend it for sure. (Phillips also narrates the audiobook version himself, which makes it even more compelling... get Blood at the Root as one of your free books with your Southern Hollows Audible Trial!)
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Sound Design/Audio Engineer:
Matthew "Brown Buddha" Jennifer
Music from the Episode:
"Cold Sober" by Kevin MacLeod
"Comfortable Mystery" by Kevin MacLeod
"There Are Many Different Kinds of Love" by Chris Zabriskie
"Cold Funk" by Kevin MacLeod
"Water Lilly" by Kevin MacLeod
"Giant Wyrm" by Kevin MacLeod
"Virtutes Instrumenti" by Kevin MacLeod
"Showdown" by Kevin MacLeod
"Ghostpocalypse 8" by Kevin MacLeod
Compositions and performances licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.
Phillips, Patrick. Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America. W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.
Jaspin, Elliot. Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America. Basic Books, 2007.