Why was there a Civil Rights Movement?


Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith were two African-American men who were lynched on August 7, 1930 in Marion, IndianaThey had been arrested the night before, charged with robbing and murdering a white factory worker, Claude Deeter, and raping his white girlfriend, Mary Ball. A large crowd broke into the jail with sledge hammers, beat the two men, and hanged them. When Abram Smith tried to free himself from the noose as his body was hauled up by the rope, he was lowered and then his arms broken to prevent him from trying to free himself again. Police officers in the crowd cooperated in the lynching. A third person, 16 year old James Cameron, narrowly escaped lynching thanks to an unidentified participant who announced that he had nothing to do with the rape or murder. A studio photographer, Lawrence Beitler, took a photograph of the dead bodies hanging from a tree surrounded by a large crowd; thousands of copies of the photograph were sold.

James Cameron gave an interview to NPR: “Strange Fruit: Anniversary of a Lynching”


National Museum of Natural History  – Race Exhibt

Racial disparity runs through every major system impacting

children’s life chances: limited access to health care; lack

of early Head Start and quality preschool experiences; children

waiting in foster care for permanent families; and failing

schools with harsh discipline policies that suspend, expel and

push more children into juvenile detention and adult prison.

We must identify key decision points where disparate treatment

of poor children of color can and must be systematically

addressed and monitored.