Pat Young asked in response to a previous post on whether the battle of the Crater ought to be reenacted whether lynchings should be reenacted. Well, thanks to Bjorn Skaptason, it turns out at least one has been reenacted as an annual event for the past seven years. The event marks the 1946 lynching of two African American married couples near the Moore’s Ford Bridge over the Apalachee River in Georgia. One of the victims was seven months pregnant. [Additional photos can be found here.]
The video is difficult to watch, but it does address some issues related to questions that have already been raised about the challenges of reenacting any violent event with racial overtones such as the Crater.
Reenactment is a tool that is available to all for making their point, and for engaging with history and its implication, its not just about Renaissance Fayre’s or people in Pakistani made Civil War uniforms, Interestingly the landlord of the victims had bailed out Malcolm from the gaol with his own money, and he was driving them home, when intercepted. Some people suggest that he was not intentionally delivering them to the KKK
I too noted the religious overtones. This is a bit like a Easter passion play with the multiple locations and the connecting narratives
Loy Harrison was a member of Klan #5 of Bogart, Georgia, and the proof of this is in the FBI files on the Moore’s Ford case, a copy of which is in the Russell Library at UGA. Further, he was seen going to the Moore’s Ford bridge in the company of the lynch mob and also leaving the scene of the crime in the company of the lynch mob. Again, see the FBI files at the Russell Library.
I think it is highly important that reenacting the Moore’s Ford lynching of 25 July 1946 continue. It appears that several have stated that they find the event disgusting. Very well, I am delighted. My view is that the event is not nearly disgusting enough. Believe me, nothing can be done at Moore’s Ford that would compare in the least with the hideous murders of George and May Dorsey and Roger and Dorothy Malcolm. I lived at Moore’s Ford, knew all the people there, and saw the spot where the four victims were killed every day!
Colonial Williamsburg conducted a reenactment of a slave auction in the 1990s. A quick look in JSTOR reveals a few articles that discuss the event. Christy Coleman, current director of the American Civil War Center, participated in the reenactment and was at that time the head of African American Interpretation at CW if I recall correctly. I was at the event, which was (not surprisingly) controversial and drew some protesters.
Man. I live in Georgia and had absolutely no idea this took place. I may have to go next year.
I found this very interesting as I am currently doing some research for a NEH project on Ft. Pillow and Saltville. Massacres? Or is it just war time behavior? Thoughts?
“thanks to Bjorn Skaptason, it turns out at least one has been reenacted as an annual event for the past seven years.”
Well, I’m not actually behind the re-enactment. 🙂 I just stumbled upon the video while looking for old footage of the Greensboro Massacre, which is also easy to find, and just as upsetting to watch as it was in 1979.
People reenact historical events of all types for various reasons. What they do in Walton County, Georgia seems to be intended as a parochial exercise with both civic and religious overtones.
Thanks for clarifying that Bjorn. 🙂
Wow. Watching now, and, yeah. Wow.
I suppose if a Crater reenactment originated with USCT historians/descendants, and was planned and designed to focus on precisely that most difficult part of the battle, to force audiences into positions of discomfort and thus perhaps change, I would support it. That idea seems to me to be, if not diametrically opposed to what drives most battle reenactments, at least very different from the more typical starting points.