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Montevallo in Shelby County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Lynching in America / Lynching in Montevallo

Community Remembrance Project

 
 
Lynching in America Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, June 13, 2020
1. Lynching in America Marker
Inscription.  
Lynching in America
Thousands of African Americans were lynched in the United States between the Civil War and World War II. Lynching, a form of racial terrorism used to intimidate black people and to enforce white supremacy, was most prevalent in the South. In Alabama alone, more than 360 African Americans were killed by white lynch mobs, with at least nine in Shelby County. Following the collapse of Reconstruction, resistance to equal rights for African Americans led to horrific mob violence against black women, men, and children. Lynching victims accused of crimes or perceived violations of racial customs were consistently denied due process and the protection of the law. Many were pulled from jails or handed over to mobs by officials legally required to protect them. Millions of African Americans fled
Lynching in Montevallo Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, June 13, 2020
2. Lynching in Montevallo Marker
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the South to escape the climate of terror. Those who remained faced continuing humiliation, intimidation, and trauma. Little has been done to address the legacy of lynching. Understanding the history of racial terrorism is critical to confronting challenges created by mass incarceration, excessive punishment, unjustified police violence, and the presumption of guilt and dangerousness that continue to burden African Americans and people of color today.

Lynching in Montevallo
Across the street from this marker, two African American men were lynched by a white mob on August 31, 1889. Their names are unknown. During this era, deep racial hostility in the South permitted suspicion and presumptions of guilt against black people to flourish without serious scrutiny. After a white man was killed while interrupting a burglary, a group of armed white men searched the area and apprehended the two unidentified black men as suspects. When the two men were brought to town, hundreds of angry white citizens gathered demanding revenge. Before the two men
View of marker looking north towards downtown. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, June 13, 2020
3. View of marker looking north towards downtown.
could be transferred to the Columbiana jail, local officers turned them over to the mob, claiming they feared a “bloody riot" if they did not allow the mob to abduct the two men. Under the threat of lynching, one of the men reportedly confessed to the crime. Often, African Americans accused of crimes were beaten and tortured to obtain confessions that would be used to justify lynchings. The other man, known only as “Big Six," insisted upon his innocence. Despite this, the mob hanged both men from a tree. These two unidentified black men were denied their constitutional right to stand trial, and were killed by a lawless mob that never faced prosecution. They were two of at least nine African American victims of racial terror lynching killed in Shelby County between 1889 and 1923.
 
Erected 2020 by Equal Justice Initiative - Montevallo Community Remembrance Coalition.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil Rights
Marker on left while looking south on AL-119. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, June 13, 2020
4. Marker on left while looking south on AL-119.
. In addition, it is included in the Lynching in America series list. A significant historical date for this entry is August 31, 1889.
 
Location. 33° 5.975′ N, 86° 51.844′ W. Marker is in Montevallo, Alabama, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Alabama Route 119) and Shelby Street, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Main St, Montevallo AL 35115, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome To Historic Montevallo (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alabama Historical Association (approx. Ό mile away); Montevallo High School (approx. 0.3 miles away); University Of Montevallo National Historic District (approx. 0.4 miles away); King House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Town of Wilton (approx. 1.8 miles away); McGaughy Farms (approx. 2 miles away); James Daniel Hardy (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montevallo.
 
Also see . . .  News article and photos about the dedication of the marker.
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(Submitted on June 13, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 13, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 216 times since then and 72 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 13, 2020, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Aug. 16, 2022