Georgia's Lena Baker finds mercy 60 years after her executionBreaking News
Symbolically, Baker has finally overcome it. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles in Atlanta voted unanimously last week to pardon her. On Aug. 30, the board will hand the pardon to her great-nephew, Roosevelt Curry, who sought the declaration.
Officials across the U.S. South are facing up to racial wrongs committed generations ago, in the days when discrimination against blacks was systematic and routine. Elderly white men are being convicted for the first time for racially driven killings that were committed during the 1960s in Mississippi and Alabama.
Two men responsible for the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham that killed four black girls were convicted in separate trials in 2001 and 2002 in that Alabama city. This year, a Mississippi jury convicted Edgar Killen, 80, in the slayings of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1964.
Take away race, and Baker's case was simply about a drunken argument that turned violent when a woman tried to end her relationship with an older, abusive man, who was her employer. Ernest Knight was 67 when he died. Baker was 44 when she was executed.
Yet race was central to the case. Given the time and place, the outcome would have been different if she had been white, or if the man she killed had been black, says James Ely Jr., a law professor and legal historian at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
comments powered by Disqus
- Carla Hayden says Frederick Douglass "might have a lot to do with the fact that I am a librarian”
- Baton Rouge area Catholic school responds to student's racist essay about Black History Month
- How the ‘guerrilla archivists’ saved history – and are doing it again under Trump
- Trump visits the National Museum of African American History and Culture
- New Book Says Bob Woodward Burned Hillary Clinton’s Ghostwriter
- Historian and Antiwar Activist Marilyn Young Dies at 79
- Trump Chooses Historian H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser
- Holocaust Historian Deborah Lipstadt Explains Why People Believe Trump's Lies
- Princeton’s Harold James warns World War Three is now a "serious threat”
- Israeli schools' history lessons create good soldiers, says pundit