|LaGrange, Georgia (Photo by Rivers Langley)|
On September 8, 1940, 16-year-old Austin Calloway was shot “by a group of six masked men.” This black teenager was accused of “an attempted attack on a white woman.”
The armed gang had snatched Calloway from his jail cell.
This occurred within a Georgia town about 70 miles south of Atlanta. Although The New York Times headline read “Negro Lynched in Georgia,” local papers hardly reported it. Today's citizens had been mostly unaware of the sordid incident until comments were recently made by two African-American visitors to the police station.
After overhearing these ladies say that former members of the police force had “killed our people,” the current chief decided to investigate. When Police Chief Louis Dekmar finally learned about the Calloway case, he felt that an apology was long overdue.
Dekmar delivered this apology at a local church, 76 years after the fact. Such acknowledgement is as rare as it is essential.
Copyright January 27, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved