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Mary Turner and the memory of lynching

Author: Julie Buckner Armstrong
Publisher: Athens : University of Georgia Press, ©2011.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Julie Buckner Armstrong
ISBN: 9780820337654 082033765X 9780820337661 0820337668
OCLC Number: 687680059
Description: xii, 255 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Contents: Birth and nation: Mary Turner and the discourse of lynching --
Silence, voice, and motherhood: constructing lynching as a Black woman's issue --
Brutal facts and split-gut words: constructing lynching as a national trauma --
Contemporary confrontations: recovering the memory of Mary Turner --
Conclusion: marking a collective past --
Appendixes: selected creative and documentary responses to the 1918 Brooks-Lowndes lynchings --
Appendix 1. "Hamp Smith murdered; young wife attacked by negro farm hands" --
Appendix 2. "Her talk enraged them: Mary Turner taken to Folsom's bridge and hanged" --
Appendix 3. Joseph B. Cumming, letter to the editor --
Appendix 4. The colored welfare league (Augusta, Georgia), "Resolutions adopted and sent to Governor Dorsey urging that he exercise his authority against such acts of barbarism" --
Appendix 5. Colored federated clubs of Georgia, "Resolutions expressive of feelings sent to president and governor" --
Appendix 6. Memorandum for Governor Dorsey from Walter F. White --
Appendix 7. Carrie Williams Clifford, "Little mother (upon the lynching of Mary Turner)" --
Appendix 8. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, "dirty south moon."
Responsibility: Julie Buckner Armstrong.

Abstract:

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 Grimké'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.

"[This book] traces the reactions 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 Turner'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 pubic memorials. Turner's story became a centerpiece of the Anti-Lynching Crusader's campaign for the 1922 Dyer Bill, which sought to make lynching a federal crime. [The author] explores the complex and contradictory ways this horrific event was remembered in such works as Walter White's report in the NAACP's newspaper the Crisis, the 'Kabnis' section of Jean Toomer's Cane, Angelina Weld Grimké's short story 'Goldie, ' and Meta Fuller's sculpture Mary Turner: A Silent Protest against Mob Violence."--Page 4 of cover.

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"[Armstrong's research and writing bring a horrific chapter of American history into the light."--"St. Petersburg Times"

 
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