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The Scottsboro Trials Essay

1228 words - 5 pages

March 25, 1931, nine men hopped on to a freight train of no return (Uschan 10). Unjust, prejudice, and racist the Scottsboro Trials, were definitely not just another ordinary case. The Scottsboro Trials changed how America viewed segregation. The nine young men, who hopped onto that train that day, were innocent and harmless. The Scottsboro Trials revealed the unjust treatment that African Americans faced outside of the Harlem Renaissance and changed views on segregation.
Boarding the train from Chattanooga to Memphis seems like an innocent thing to do (“UMKC” par. 2). For the Scottsboro boys, boarding that train was one of the worst things they could have done. Two dozen whites and black road the train that day, and within the first 2 hours a fist fight broke out between the two races. The blacks won the fight, and the white men were thrown off the train and ran to the station master and reported that they had been assaulted by a gang of blacks on the train. Alabama stopped the train and dozens of men showed up and surrounded the train with guns in their hands. They took the nine African Americans aboard the train and put them into the Scottsboro jail (UMKC par. 2-5).
Two other people were on the train at that time too. Victoria Price and Ruby Bates were found on the train unexpectedly while the search men were looking for any more black citizens. The women identified themselves and then Ruby Bates told the search men “We’ve been raped. All those colored boys raped us.”(Uschan 14).This caused an uproar throughout America not because rape was a horrible crime, but because back then a white woman having sexual relations with a black man was considered one of the worst things a person could do. The act was considered so terrible because people believed that the two races should remain separate. Once the word spread about this terrible crime, about 500 angry citizens, many members of the Ku Klux Klan, gathered around the jail (Uschan 14). They were so furious that they demanded that the sheriff give them the Scottsboro boys so they could hang them (Uschan 14)!
April 6, 1931, the trials for the Scottsboro boys begin(Uschan 16). The boys were represented by Milo C. Moody and Stephen Roddy who were only given twelve days to prepare for the trials. Stephen was and unpaid, unprepared real estate attorney, and Milo was a forgetful seventy year old local attorney who hadn’t tried a case in a long time (“San Marcos” line 13). The trails were completely unorganized and false information was stated throughout the whole thing. The cross examination of Victoria Price lasted minutes and the defense offered very little information to the judge. Six out of the nine boys ended up denying the rape while 3 admitted to it. Even though the three men didn’t rape the women, because of beatings and threats, they admitted to the gang rape. By the time the trail had ended 8 out of the 9 boys were convicted and sentenced to death. Since one of the Scottsboro boys...

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