Home Page

A call for the defense of "the boys."
In 1931 nine black boys were accused of rape in Alabama by two white women after being forcefully removed from a train. The boys were arrested immediately and charged with the heavy crime, despite the fact that they were young and innocent. They were followed by outraged crowds of Southern whites hellbent that they "pay" for the supposed crimes they had committed. Riots of angered southern white men demanded that they receive the death penalty for the severity of the crime they did not even commit. The resulting trials of these unfortunate individuals in Scottsboro, Alabama and beyond remain some of the most important in the history of African Americans. The group of boys came to be collectively called "The Scottsboro Boys."

The nine Scottsboro Boys (pictured off to the left) lives were forever changed in the year of 1931. The United States' political climate and economic troubles coupled with long its long history of bad race relations with African Americans set the scene for the incident. The trials followed the terrible Wall Street Crash of 1929 and took place two years into The Great Depression in front of an increasingly dissatisfied public. Times were definitely hard. Many of the nation's citizens were growing tired of the old ways of America and they were beginning to show it in a big way. The treatment of the boys caused an unprecedented amount of backlash from all over the nation. The death verdict that all but one of the unlucky boys initially received resulted in mass protests and defense meetings (like the one advertised in the image to the left).

The old capitalist ways had seemingly led the country to disaster and to some, leftist political ideas offered the most logical and sound solution. Partly because of this, the American Communist Party became highly influential at the time. Officially founded in 1919, the party believed that Marx's prediction that capitalism was bound to fail was coming true before their eyes. The American Communists wanted not only reform, but revolution. They were extremely supportive of the civil rights movement in the United States and actively worked toward equality of the races. The American Communist party hired the legal team for the boys and held numerous demonstrations nation wide. Their involvement in the trials of the Scottsboro boys and the new Democratic policies of the time (Roosevelt's New Deal and etc) forever affected the way African Americans viewed their political stances. Up to till these times, the majority of African Americans followed the party and political stance of their great emancipator President Abraham Lincoln and voted Republican. This case helped mark the transition of the African American community from their Republican affiliation to an increase of acceptance of democratic views. The trial of the Scottsboro Boys also showcased a slew of problems with the legal system of The United States. The cases still stand as a shining example of injustice in the court. They were unfair and their outcome led to the unfortunate fates of each of the Scottsboro Boys.

Image: http://media.web.britannica.com/eb-media/46/126946-004-A0E81724.jpg