Essay on The Scottsboro Trials

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Imagine being a black teenager in the south amid the great depression. It was hard enough for whites to find jobs during this time; I can’t even begin to fathom what it would be like being black seeking a job. Many blacks sought hoboing as a common pastime seeing it as an adventure to get them from one small job to another. And this is where the story of the Scottsboro Boys begins.
     Aboard a southern railroad car was a young black youth named Haywood Patterson. He clutched to the side of the car as it careened back and forth over the rusty tracks. Across the top of the car walked a young white man. Every time this man would walk past Patterson he would step on his fingers. Patterson finally said to the man,
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     Let me tell you about the accusers in this case, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates. Both women were from Huntsville, Al and daughters of widows. They grew up in the worst section of town living in shacks and associating with Negroes. Prior to Paint Rock, they had been working in Margaret Mill which produced cotton. The mill had shut down and they joined the other hobos seeking work (Goodman, 1994, pp20-21).
When these ladies got older they were said to have fornicated with Negroes also. Now you have to understand that in the south there was a stigma between white woman and black men, when a white woman sleeps with a black man its considered rape (in the south). Now when these women were found on the train with Negroes, they did not want to be thought of as adulterers and tramps. Instead they claimed rape so that they could be thought of as southern women, poor but virtuous (Goodman, 1994, pp20-21).

During their stay at the jail, the Scottsboro Boys attracted many people, and not always the nicest. One evening a lynch mob was hanging around the outside hoping that there could be a lynching. Their plans were foiled because Governor B.M. Miller ordered the National Guard to protect the suspects.
On March 30th, 1931, a grand jury indicts all 9 boys. The boys

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