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Surviving a Lynching

Surviving a Lynching

[film rolling] [piano key playing]

[dog barking]

Early Newspaper

Right here’s my favorite of all your whole Jedi,

Obi-Wan Kenobi.

He is no longer afraid,

but he’s legal so fantastic with his ideas.

Feel how light that is.

It be a light as a feather.

Oh, concept at my Yoda.

[Patsy] He loves these items.

Now that’s a boy there.

You understand what?

He, if you take him out of the box,

he’ll race around all over the ground and talk

and you can ask him some things and he’ll answer you.

I acquired two of them.

[Toy] I sense your fear.

You are legal to be afraid.

He acquired killed.

I explain you the reason I adore it, because I by no means had toys

as soon as I was rising up.

The miniature boy in me legal appreciated the movie,

and the character had been legal so fantastic, you understand?

I will give them to my kids as soon as I’m long past.

[light music]

[hammer tapping]

Art is a sage.

I build no longer know no diversified way you can say what art is

in addition to it tells a sage.

[light music]

[hammer tapping]

I’m telling a sage about my lifestyles

and it’s going to take 50 photographs to attain it.

I acquired eight accomplished.

It be gonna take 50.

[hammer tapping]

I’m placing these photographs on here

and they are going to by no means fade away, by no means.

I by no means dreamed that I had the talent to change into an artist.

Nonetheless my wife saved telling me, oh, you can attain it.

You acquired talent, Winfred.

You can attain this, and you can.

Nonetheless you understand, wives can say them more or much less things, you understand.

Nonetheless is it legal?

[light music]

Winfred has a legal account of how we dwell,

how we continue to exist within the South.

[light music]

When a patient walks into my room,

they demand to have a seat and for me to talk with them

about their history, about their toddle.

I take that information and I exhaust it to assist them heal.

I want to concept at history.

And usually patients near in and explain you apprehension experiences,

but I can’t discard it because I need it all

to assist that patient to dwell.

I’m a physician, but I’m also an artist.

I search for myself a miniature little bit of both.

[door knocking]

Winfred is a artist.

Were both from the South,

and had the alternative to head to regarded as one of his art displays,

and there he was.

He is had a lot of health concerns, hypertension, diabetes,

prolonged over 40 years of stress.

And I deem that stress interferes

along with your ability to sleep.

So how many hours of sleep you acquire a night?

Three or four.

Three or four hours?


And that’s with the medication?


With out the medication, what attain you acquire?

With out the medication, I acquire nothing.

And this has been happening for a way prolonged?

About four years.

At any time when he attain a form of photographs, he gets in discouraged health.

He have to head to the doctor, and she has to talk to him,

and he has a double up on that medication

as a way to acquire some leisure.

For you, it’s post-traumatic stress disorder.


So, it traumatizes you again

and make you relive what you had long past by way of.


And the thing is that sometime,

acknowledging the history doesn’t assist some americans to heal.

It may assist diversified americans,

no longer me though.

I build no longer deem it does.

It be a diversified more or much less art that’s healing.

My form is no longer healing.

I’m long past attain his cap.

Make his face, put on his ear.

Make I put hope in my art?

Nah, no longer remarkable.

Since the entirety is performed from the past,

there is never always remarkable hope in it.

I can sit down and start pondering,

and my ideas will coast back as soon as I was five and six years customary.

I can bear in mind.

God gave me a legal reminiscence.

We lived on a plantation, and that was the early 60s.

It don’t take prolonged for you to realize that something’s coast

with picking cotton each day, all day.

You start out on your rows.

You can’t search for the end.

You use all day and you by no means acquire to the end of your row.

At the time I was 14, I ran away from, no longer home,

but I ran away from the cotton field.

I was doing the entirety I believed conceivable

that may dwell a diversified variety of lifestyles.

That’s a signal that she know I’m, I’m working.

She hear this. [hand knocking]

Man, I battle by way of the night, three, or four, five o’clock

within the morning.

And when she don’t hear that,

she, boy, she’s down the stairs adore bullet.

The trauma that he seen and the effort he has

to head to sleep and to leisure,

I’ve seen that increase as he change into older.

The dramatic stuff, that’s after we have a challenge.

Nonetheless those are those he really want to acquire accomplished.

Someday he wakes up, totally up,

calling whoever it’s miles that’s operating him.

He call him by name.

And he’ll be saying halt.

If I build no longer take my medication,

then I can’t sleep with Patsy.

‘Cause I’m going by way of, if I’m dreaming, I may,

I may punch Patsy.

Let me coast back to this scar that I’m carrying.

I joined the Civil Rights Motion at 14 years customary.

Whilst you are part of the motion,

you make a name to your self

and all the white americans know you.

And they’re waiting to acquire their hands on you.

I stayed in jail over a year and not utilizing a charges, nothing.

So, I took a roll of bathroom paper, caught it within the john,

flooded the jail.

And when the Sheriff came back, he came back

and he was going by way of the nigger thing with me.

He kicked me two or three times.

And about the third time he kicked me out of the aspect,

I’d no longer let him kick me anymore,

grabbed his legs and I threw him to the ground.

And he went for his gun.

I took it away from him.

And he’s begging me no longer to shoot him.

So I said, well, I’m no longer going to shoot you

but I will lock you up.

So, I locked him in his cell and then I fled.

Went to this home of civil rights employees, I believed.

The woman answered the door.

I told her what had happened.

She went into the next room and called the police.

Next thing I do know, each white man in cuffs

with George is standing accessible within the yard.

Threw me within the trunk of the car, about a 30 minute slump.

And then they unfolded the trunk,

I saw these ropes hanging from a tree, nooses,

a place designed, concept adore, to hang americans.

After they put the rope up around my toes,

pulled me up in a tree.

Right here near the Deputy Sheriff that I locked within the cell

and he’s acquired a knife.

And he near up, and he grabbed my private parts,

and he took his knife, and he caught me.

They was going to castrate me,

and then hang me, and burn me.

I was 19 years customary,

and there I am bleeding adore a pig hanging up within the tree,

ready to be slaughtered adore a hog.

And then another white man grabbed his arm

and told him don’t attain that.

Said, we have now acquired larger things we can attain with this nigger.

I took my shirt, rolled it up between my legs adore that,

as soon as I was within the trunk of the car

and squeezed my legs collectively.

I saved myself.

[light music]

My mom feeble to explain me, she said,

you cannot internalize the pain.

In case you internalize that pain, it legal chips away at you.

This nation, no person really, genuinely talk about

the americans that had been lynched.

Someday they’d lynch americans then put them

within the water with weights,

so the family would by no means search for them again.

Generally they’d take the our bodies

and minimize them up and sell the pieces.

Generally they’d take the body, after they lynched it,

and burn it up,

so the families wouldn’t have anything.

These are ones that had been recorded.

What about those that weren’t recorded?

It was shut to three to 4,000 americans that had been lynched.

And a lot of those americans by no means acquired a funeral.

It was usually too dangerous for the families

to retrieve those our bodies.

And sometime, there was no our bodies to retrieve.

It be no longer legal black history, this is American history.

[somber music]

You do no longer continue to exist a lynching.

You legal, if you lynched, you dead.

I legal happened to be one man that was safe.

It has pain me.

It has saved me from being maybe what I may have been.

Certain it has, it held me back, because it’s brutal

and no person wants to talk about it.

[Shirley] First time I saw you, I was looking out to,

medically speaking, I was looking out to determine,

why does he have these on his hand?

These are chain gang marks.

Nonetheless yet another than the diversified.

[Shirley] Why this yet another than this one?

‘Cause that’s my punching hand.

I didn’t learn to box, I learned to continue to exist.

♪ Engaged on the highways and byways and wearing ♪

♪ You hear them moaning their lives away ♪

♪ Can you hear someone say ♪

♪ Well don’t you understand ♪

♪ That’s the sound of the males working on the chain gang ♪

[Shirley] Wow.

Beautiful, that’s beautiful.

Y’all gonna make me scream.

It be a beautiful morning.

You acquired your prolonged johns on?

Okay, legal.

Then I can walk you to Georgia, what you suspect?

You can lean against me.

I’m sorry to lean on you that way.

I acquired it.

Make no longer you search for a way I’m a, I’m a solid Georgia lady?

I search for that.

That’s legal.

I’m giving out.

Well, it’s a fairly day to attain that on me.

You may retract cotton?

You understand it.

We feeble to pour water in there, but they,

they acquired hip today.

Oh, really?


Most efficient thing thing weigh more, put a brick in it.

Did you attain that? Yeah.

You put a brick in it? Yeah.

Oh God, I didn’t know about that.

[soft music]

Hi there, you.


Hi there.


How you doing?

Appropriate, legal.

Thank you for coming.

Getting ready for the next day, the 29th,

strive to pull it all collectively.

Hi there, Nathaniel, you understand that painting I did with the,

with the KKK?

[Man On Phone] Yeah.

May you carry it to me in Springfield?

[light music]

I obvious to have a funeral

for the over 4,000 African-Americans who had been lynched

within the United States to shut that chapter and coast forward.

America has to attain the same thing to assist heal this nation.

You may acquire some pushback from americans.

Why attain you want to toddle that up?

It hasn’t been stirred ample.

Folk had been saying, ah, that’s so depressing.

I say, well, if you suspect this depressing,

strive hanging from a tree.

[light music]

What can I attain?

I can’t carry them back, but I can give them a prayer.

[light music]

Appropriate evening.

[Audience] Appropriate evening.

I’m Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker.

And the put a question to we ask tonight is

why can we want to be here?

We have to be here because our nation desires to heal.

And some bad things happen on this nation

the place Americans tortured diversified Americans

because of the coloration of their pores and skin.

That went on goodbye in America.

What are you going to attain about it?

Because I bear in mind as a miniature lady, after we went

to a funeral and they decreased that casket within the ground,

the minister would saying ashes to ashes.

[Audience] Dirt to filth.

A lot of our americans by no means acquired that.

So we’re looking out back in history so this patient can dwell.

We’re looking out back in history so this patient can thrive.

We’re looking out back in history

so this patient can change into very solid.

Nonetheless this patient may most effective a dwell and acquire stronger

if we’re spellbinding to concept back.

So tonight, we start.

There’s an African proverb that says,

you speak my name and I will dwell forever.

So tonight, we are able to speak some names.

My name is Nasir and I’m representing


[light music]

My name is Mary Turner.

I was the 19-year-customary, pregnant wife

of the great Hayes Turner.

My name is Lamar Thomas

and I am representing the unnamed negro.

Nonetheless as soon as I confronted his murderers,

they lynched me and burned my body.

My name’s Kiah Bellamy

and I characterize, representing Eugene Azar.

They ripped my unborn baby out of my stomach,

making certain his death along with mine.

I am James Howell.

And they told me I had a alternative.

Either I may die with my son

or I may watch him die and dwell to explain the sage.

I had no alternative.

I had my wife and diversified kids to concept after,

to dwell for.

And as my son cried, and begged, and pleaded for his lifestyles,

they certain his hands and toes and forced him into the river.

And as I stood, trembling with tears operating down my face,

watching my son sink to the underside of the river,

by no means to upward thrust again,

by no means to upward thrust again.

[Shirley] So in unison, whoever you is perhaps representing,

speak that name.

[audience speaking]

[chorus singing] [hands clapping]

That lynching,

is on my back.

And it’s dragging me down,

even today.

That’s been 40-some years ago.

And even today, now, it’s dragging me down.

I can’t leisure.

I can’t leisure.

I lay in my bed and I can’t leisure.

I’m operating for my lifestyles each night.

Anyone’s after me

and I build no longer know what to attain.

I’m mad about what happened.

And it didn’t appear adore it was no person that has said,

hello, this is coast, don’t attain him adore that.

It hurts me to search for him in that more or much less pain.

Their pain is there.

They want to be erased.

We decide to the ground these our bodies and these souls.

And allow us to forever bear in mind and reflect upon

the lives that have been nameless and unknown

for many years.

Ashes to ashes, filth to filth.

[somber music]

A funeral is a healing for those that are alive

giving admire to those that have departed.

I deem they wanted to be remembered

and to have their rite of passage, the legal to coast on.

[light music]

I can’t be healed.

I build no longer deem I can be healed.

I deem I will coast to the grave with what I acquired,

holding me down and holding me back.

Even supposing those things was accomplished to me years ago,

they’re tranquil holding me back.

Can I send the message?

Can I change this?

I can’t change this world.

I do know I’m no longer a substantial ample man to attain that,

but I can put a dent in it.

[hammer tapping]

Nonetheless you legal back going, and going, and going, and going.

♪ I really adore you ♪

♪ I wish you may search for me now ♪

♪ I wish you may search for the work that I’m doing now, Momma ♪

♪ I wish you may be with me now ♪

♪ I am hoping you up there looking out down ♪

♪ Looking down down at your child ♪

♪ Doing this leather work ♪

[hammer tapping]

♪ I wager, Momma, you regarded as one of many reason that I back doing it ♪

[hammer tapping]

♪ Certain, you are ♪

[hammer tapping]

Surviving a Lynching