Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Post assignment #3

        Eudora Welty's "Where is the Voice Coming From?" was a short fictional story based on the murder of NAACP official Medgar Evers by racist and white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. Welty used her skill as a novelist and short fiction author in the creation of this work to contribute to the demonstration of public outcry shorty after Ever's murder. Welty's purpose in creating a narrative from the persepective of the killer was to show how spiteful, racist, ignorant, and homicidal the state of mind of Byron De La Beckwith played out during Ever's murder. Being of local Mississippi state background, It is most likely that Wetly's depiction of La Beckwith's character portrayed reality to very close accuracy; I would'nt be suprised if the killer really did use such vocabulary and speak in such manners during his/thier plot to murder Ever's. Welty's story was published in the "The New Yorker" and most likely was an atttempt to reach all audiences as well as working class/middle class Americans in the north and nationwide. I believe Welty's story effectively catches the imagination of it's readers and expresses a true injustice of mississippi society. Sadly however the authority of governance and politics in mississippi prove justice is uttlery almost worthless as even after this violent crime of a prominent leader, allowed Beckwith to boast of his deeds, and not pay for his crimes, with only to be convicted of murder more than 30 years later. Perhaps it is because the south will still attempt to hold on to confederate identities/dreams for as long as possible, including the ideal of racism and white supremacy; A motivation to hold on to a defeated pride stemming from the Civil War? I doubt with current changes from the 50's and 60's of demographic trends of increase and empowerment of the black population in mississippi, that the remaining white supremacists' abuse of authority(in politics) with go unanswered like before, and would perhaps result looking more like the L.A. riots rather than a bunch of kids walking into paddy wagons waving flags around.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Racist oppression in Texas leading to "Mutiny" or race riot.

  Hello professor tanenbaum. Here are a few links to articles about the mutiny I asked about in class. I did some research and came up with these articles, three on the mutiny or "Houston Riot" and another which is based upon a similar massacre in Mississippi. The Blogger article is pretty good so i posted it on this message.

Houston massacre:

Camp van dorn, Mississippi:


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Race Riot in Houston

How many of you knew that on August 23, 1917, a race riot erupted in Houston, TX?
During World War I, the War Department (now the Department of Defense) set up Camp Logan in what is today Memorial Park. The assignment to guard the construction of the camp was given to the 3rd Battalion of the 24th Infantry, an all-black regiment. These men were experienced soldiers who had seen combat. Unfortunately when they arrived in Houston they were viewed with hostility by the white population. Since Jim Crow was the rule of the day, the soldiers would find themselves discriminated against when they would come into the city on a pass. They were insulted by white citizens, they were forced to stand in the rear of street cars despite many empty seats in the 'whites only' section. A sheriff's deputy went as far to arrest a soldier for sitting in the whites only section. Another soldier was arrested for interfering with the arrest of a black woman by Houston Police. A Corporal, Charles Baltimore, inquired to a Houston Officer why his men were being arrested. For his inquiry, he got pistol whipped by the officer who even shot at the fleeing corporal as he fled. He ran into a shed where he was arrested, but eventually released.
Meanwhile, back at the camp, resentment at their treatment along with the false rumors that Corporal Baltimore had been killed and a white mob was marching upon the camp for a fight planted the seeds for a murderous rampage. A number of black soldiers then stole weapons and ammunition and under the leadership of Sgt. Vida Henry marched into the city of Houston, shooting at citizens and police. White citizens who stepped out of their homes to see what the commotion was were shot in cold blood. The soldiers also stumbled upon white police officers and shot them too. In the 2 hour riot, 5 Houston police officers along with 11 citizens (all white) were killed. Four of the soldiers, including Sgt. Henry were killed (2 of them accidentally by the rioters themselves). Officers Ira Raney and Rufus Daniels' bodies were hacked with the soldiers' bayonets after they were shot.
In the tribunal afterward, 110 soldiers were convicted on a variety of charges, 29 were given the death penalty, however only 19 were actually hung. The area of the slaughter that day is now along Center and Roy streets and San Felipe street. For a more detailed account of that day, go here.

For a history of Houston Police Officers killed in the line of duty going back to 1860, click here.