Along with Camp Slavery and the Hiroshima and crucifixion reenactments, this leads me to conclude that just because something can be reenacted, doesn’t mean it should be. The AP is silent about the details. Will Georgians actually be viewing bodies swinging from trees? And… unless the lynchees are professional stuntmen, isn’t this dangerous? - Jonah


Re-Enactment of 1946 Lynchings Planned

By Errin Haines, Associated Press Writer (7/25/05)



Civil rights activists in Georgia hope to stage a re-enactment today of the lynchings that took place on July 25, 1946. They are looking to gain support for the arrest and prosecution of anyone still alive who may have been involved.


As a 20-year-old civil rights activist in 1968, Tyrone Brooks drove 40 miles from Atlanta to Walton County to meet Dan Young, who ran the county's only black funeral home.

"Young man, I want to show you something," Brooks remembers Young telling him.


In the basement of the funeral home, Young opened an old file cabinet and pulled out a manila folder containing photographs of bodies — the victims, Young told Brooks, of the last open public mass lynching in the United States.


"That really got my attention," said Brooks, who is now a representative in the Georgia House.


Nearly 40 years later, those disturbing photos still have Brooks' attention.


On Monday, the 59th anniversary of the lynchings that took place on July 25, 1946, he and other civil rights activists hope to stage a re-enactment of the violent act in hopes of gaining support for the arrest and prosecution of anyone still alive who may have been involved or responsible.


Just one month ago, 1,000 members of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials unanimously passed a resolution urging prosecutors to bring charges for the first time in the unsolved lynchings.


The photos were of Roger and Dorothy Malcom and George and Mae Murray Dorsey, four young black sharecroppers who were gunned down on July 25, 1946, along the Apalachee River.


The re-enactment will start on what is believed to be Barney Hester's property, where Roger Malcom had been arrested not long before the lynching. A fight between the two men hospitalized Hester, who was white, and landed Malcom in jail.


A few days later, according to the FBI's 500-page report on the killings, the Malcoms and Dorseys were riding with a white farmer when 20 to 25 white men stopped the car on the Moore's Ford bridge. The mob forced the couples out of the car, dragged them down a wagon trail about 50 yards from the bridge and shot them with pistols and shotguns. The farmer was spared.


The FBI report named 55 suspects. Brooks said he knows of two living in Walton County, and a few others still alive outside Georgia.


"This is a stain on our history, and a burden on our soul," Brooks said. "But the stain can be erased, and the burden can be lifted. The eyes of the nation shall now focus on Monroe, Georgia, just as the eyes of the nation focused on Philadelphia, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama," he said, referring to the recent prosecutions and convictions in civil-rights era slayings in those cities.


Walton County District Attorney Ken Wynne has said he understands the desire for justice, but that the case lacks sufficient witnesses and evidence.


The FBI was ordered to investigate the case in 1946 by President Truman but was thwarted by a lack of witnesses. Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Fred Stephens said recently that his office is pursuing every lead it gets.


"They are sparse," he said, "but we have no doubt that there are still people in that community who have specific information about this case."