Presentation Title

Will Brown and the 1919 Douglas County Courthouse Lynching

Advisor Information

Jennifer Harbour

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

6-3-2015 11:00 AM

End Date

6-3-2015 11:15 AM

Abstract

The Red Summer of 1919 may very well be the bloodiest season in the history of American lynching and racial rioting. There were an estimated 41 race riots and lynchings that rocked the country from New York to San Francisco. Omaha was at the heart of these melees boasting its third illegal lynching since 1891, and culminating in the murder of Will Brown on September 28th. The callous executions across the United States were validated to various excuses including; stealing pigs, sitting on a porch too long, not using proper pronouns when addressing Whites, and thievery. By far, the most common theme was the exploitation and violation of White women. Omaha was no exception to this rule. On the evening of the 27th, rumors had been floating around town of the Black man being held at the Douglas County courthouse on the charges of rape against a young white woman and the eerie predictions of his eventual fate. There would be justice whether it was rendered by the legal system or the vigilantes noose.

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Mar 6th, 11:00 AM Mar 6th, 11:15 AM

Will Brown and the 1919 Douglas County Courthouse Lynching

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

The Red Summer of 1919 may very well be the bloodiest season in the history of American lynching and racial rioting. There were an estimated 41 race riots and lynchings that rocked the country from New York to San Francisco. Omaha was at the heart of these melees boasting its third illegal lynching since 1891, and culminating in the murder of Will Brown on September 28th. The callous executions across the United States were validated to various excuses including; stealing pigs, sitting on a porch too long, not using proper pronouns when addressing Whites, and thievery. By far, the most common theme was the exploitation and violation of White women. Omaha was no exception to this rule. On the evening of the 27th, rumors had been floating around town of the Black man being held at the Douglas County courthouse on the charges of rape against a young white woman and the eerie predictions of his eventual fate. There would be justice whether it was rendered by the legal system or the vigilantes noose.