Walter Edgar's Journal

From books to barbecue, and current events to Colonial history, historian and author Walter Edgar delves into the arts, culture, and history of South Carolina and the American South. Produced by South Carolina Public Radio.

http://southcarolinapublicradio.org/programs/walter-edgars-journal

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"They Stole Him Out of Jail" - Willie Earle, South Carolina’s Last Lynching Victim


Before daybreak on February 17, 1947, twenty-four-year-old Willie Earle, an African American man arrested for the murder of a Greenville, South Carolina, taxi driver named T. W. Brown, was abducted from his jail cell by a mob, and then beaten, stabbed, and shot to death. An investigation produced thirty-one suspects, most of them cabbies seeking revenge for one of their own. The police and FBI obtained twenty-six confessions. Remarkably, the names and photos of the defendents were published in a Greenville newspaper. And yet, after a nine-day trial in May that attracted national press attention, the defendants were acquitted by an all-white jury. In They Stole Him Out of Jail (2019, USC Press), William B. Gravely presents the most comprehensive account of the Earle lynching ever written, exploring it from background to aftermath and from multiple perspectives. Gravely meticulously re-creates the case’s details, analyzing the flaws in the investigation and prosecution that led in part


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 2019-07-08  51m