Recalling their names: Mobile honors victims of Jim Crow-era killings

It can’t be an accident that when Mobile unveiled a street sign honoring a Jim Crow Era murder victim, it was called Rayfield Davis Way. It was clear that Saturday’s ceremony was all about finding a way: A way to confront past wrongs, a way to find peace, a way to build a just future on an unjust past.

Mobilian honored with street dedication 70 years after his murder

It’s a move toward justice. Mobile city leaders are giving Tennessee Street an honorary name after Rayfield Davis, a man murdered in the Jim Crow-Era.

After seven decades, Alabama honors Jim Crow-era victims

More than 100 people gathered in the thick heat of Saturday morning to honor six black men who had been murdered in Mobile in the 1940s by white men who had not been prosecuted for their crimes. The cold cases had been uncovered, investigated, and brought to light by CRRJ.

Memorializing racially-motivated deaths beyond lynchings

A new memorial in Alabama honors and memorializes those who died at the hands of brutal lynch mobs. But many racially-motivated killings during that time were not officially lynchings.

A Black family confronts a 70-year-old killing and a white man’s exoneration

Nichole Ulmer’s family had never talked about the 1948 killing of her cousin Rayfield Davis in her presence. It wasn’t until five years ago that CRRJ contacted Ulmer with an unsettling bit of news: That a white man who confessed to killing him was still alive and still free.

Museum’s cooperative Civil Rights exhibit opens Aug. 18

Rayfield Davis will be honored in a city museum and a street with his name. 

Mobile street name to honor Jim Crow-era murder victim

A bid to rename a Mobile street for the victim of a racially motivated Jim Crow-era murder was fast-tracked to approval Tuesday by the Mobile City Council.

Sen. Doug Jones introduces civil rights cold case legislation

A bill proposed by Alabama US Senator Doug Jones would require the government to release records from unsolved criminal cases linked to the civil-rights era.

No more secrets: Family of man lynched in Lafayette County finds answers

In spring of last year, Kyleen Burke, a law student with CRRJ at Northeastern University, discussed the case of Elwood Higginbottom at the William Winter Institute on the Ole Miss campus. Burke was given the assignment to uncover the stories behind two lynching victims.

Family of slain Black man gets justice 70 years later

During the ceremony, current Gretna Mayor Belinda Constant read a resolution that was passed by the City Council stating that city officials “would like to recognize the injustice bestowed upon Royal Cyril Brooks in 1948. Today … we join CRRJ in this endeavor to honor Mr. Brooks and recognize his life and legacy.”

Lynching memorial forces us to confront our racist past – and present

Essay by Margaret Burnham. With the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, the nation’s first monument dedicated to the legacy of those terrorized by lynchings, I am haunted by the old saying, “the exception proves the rule.”

Northeastern program uncovers the stories behind the victims of lynching and other racial violence in the Jim Crow era

CRRJ is digging into the stories behind America’s history of lynching and racial violence. The two people behind the effort, former Judge Margaret Burnham and political science professor and Dean, Melissa Nobles, joined Jim Braude to discuss.

Harvey church honors Black man killed by police in Gretna 70 years ago

In the midday Saturday ceremony, CRRJ and the Kimbrough Scholars called for justice for Brooks and the many other lives lost to police brutality throughout history.

70 years later, memorial held for unarmed Black man fatally shot by police

It’s a familiar headline: An unarmed black man is shot and killed by police. Community members are upset and demand justice. But this isn’t a story that happened last month. It was 70 years ago.

‘He left a great legacy:’ Ceremony to commemorate killing of Black man in Gretna 70 years ago

Roy Brooks and his relatives may get some sense of closure this weekend, when a commemoration ceremony is held at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church in Harvey. Gretna Mayor Belinda Constant will speak, and Parish President Mike Yenni is sending a representative. The commemoration is the outgrowth of an effort by CRRJ.

Gretna family one step closer to justice decades after police killing of Black man

It was a picture that almost never made it to print. According to a story published in the Centennial Review in April 1968, the photographer handed the camera plate to a friend only seconds before Gretna Police smashed the camera. The article with the picture was discovered in 2015 by CRRJ.

Engaging imaginations, Making history

In March 2018, Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley apologized for a crime committed before he was born: the 1947 murder of Henry “Peg” Gilbert. The facts of Gilbert’s death and the impetus for the ceremony came from the work of CRRJ.

A lynching’s long shadow

New York Times Magazine: Elwood Higginbotham was murdered by a mob in 1935. For his descendants, a new historical inquiry into his death offers a chance to confront the past.

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