Legislation of the 1920s>"Directions for Buffalo Key
"Directions for Buffalo Key Women” (1922)
NAACP Papers, Part 7: The Anti-Lynching Campaign, 1912-1955,
Series B: Anti-Lynching Legislative and Publicity Files, 1916-1955,
Library of Congress (Microfilm, Reel 3, Frame 238).
This Crusade promises to be the biggest and swiftest movement
ever undertaken by Colored women. The women of the race have always
stood by the men in the hour of need. The hour has come when their
help is most needed and they should stand firmly together to sweep
away this evil which is not only an injustice that falls most
heavily upon the negro, but which makes our nation a by-word of
scorn. 2000 of the most prominent White Women in the country has
joined us, leading, outstanding women.
Attend sunrise prayer Meeting October 1st--7 A. M. Michigan
Avenue Baptist Church--"To your knees and don't stop praying"
until God answers. Some of the clergymen will be present and
Wear your button daily until December 31st.
Obtain receipt book from Mrs. Adelaide Hamilton Tucker, at 179
Clinton Street (Black Swan Record Shoppe) and fill your book.
Return same to her.
Pray every day at noon.
Sacrifice every nonessential either during 1st week of October,
November or December. Give this sacrifice to stop lynching--after
reading the following account of a lynching can you afford to
special grand jury in Williamson County, Illinois, is finishing
its investigation of the Herrin mine killings of last June.
Forty-eight indictments have been returned and others, doubtless,
will be voted before the final report is made.
was a difficult thing to do. It took weeks of tireless endeavor
on the part of President Harding, and he was frequently compelled
to acknowledge his inability as an executive to deal effectively
with the situation. He frankly admitted that he was shocked
to find that the government of the United States is powerless
to protect the people against the two organized interests that
control one of the prime necessities of life.
is being called to the fact that the men are indicted not because
they are union men, but for murder, for conspiracy to commit
murder, and for rioting. They will not be put on trial as Union
miners, but as men who are charged with murder and bloody violence.
It is important that this be kept in mind, for attempts will
be made by both labor and capital to paint these traits in borrowed
how comparatively simple would have been the whole procedure
had the Dyer bill been a law. There would have been no confusion
in the issue, and we would not have had the spectacle of a President
going to Congress to ask for power to protect the alien--two
Mexicans were killed in the Herrin massacre--when thousands
of American citizens are being lynched without the protection
of their government.
Herrin butchery," as the newspapers, Congressmen, Chief
Executive, in fact all America calls the affair. Do you remember
the pitiable story of the occurrence? Read it again, but as
you do so, read the following account of a lynching which occurred
in this country, in Tennessee. No, it was not the Turks murdering
American Christians, nor the barbarians putting to death their
enemies; it was Americans torturing Americans, in America, witnessed
by hundreds of other Americans:
Negro was seated on the ground and a buggy axle driven into
the ground between his legs. His feet were chained together
with logging chains and he was tied with Wire. A fire was built.
Pokers and flatirons were procured and heated in the fire. It
was thirty minutes before they were red hot. His self-appointed
executors burned his eye-balls with red hot irons. When he opened
his mouth to cry for mercy a red hot poker was rammed down his
gullet. Red hot irons were placed on his feet, back and body
until a hideous stench of burning human flesh filled the Sabbath
air of Dyersburg. Thousands of people witnessed this scene.
They had to be pushed back from the stake to which the Negro
was changed. Roof tops second-story windows and porch tops were
filled with spectators. Children were lifted to shoulders that
they might behold the agony of the victim. A little distance
away, in the public square, the best citizens of the country
supported the burning and torturing with their nearby presence.
Memphis News-Scimitar thus describes the scene:
"Not a domino hid a face. Everyone was unmasked. Leaders
were design[at]ed and assigned their parts. Long before the
mob reached the city the public square was choked with humanity.
All waited patiently. Women, with babies, made themselves comfortable.
last the irons were hot.
red streak shot out; a poker in a brawny hand was boring out
one of the Negro's eyes. The Negro bore the ordeal with courage,
only low moans escaping him. Another poker was working like
an auger on the other orbit.
Once, twice, three times a red hot iron dug gaping places in
Latin Scott's back an sides. 'Fetch a hotter one,' somebody
said. The execution went on.
Now some one had another poker--jabbing its fiery point into
the ribs of the doomed black.
Then rubbish was piled high about the agonized body, squirming
beneath its load.
and more wood and rubbish were fed the fire, but at 3 o'clock
Lation Scott was not dead. Life fled at 4 o'clock. Women scarely
changed contenance as the Negro's back was ironed with the hot
brands. Even the executioners maintained their poise in the
face of bloody creases left by the irons--irons which some housewife
had been using.
and a half hours were required to complete the execution."