Ethnic Studies 101
Scottsboro Boys Summary
In the year 1931, all nine of the Scottsboro boys Haywood Patterson, Charles Weems, Clarence Norris, Andy Wright, Ozzie Powell, Olen Montgomery, Eugene Williams, Willie Roberson, and Roy Wright are arrested and tried on charges of assault from fighting white boys on a train. Along with accusations made by Victoria Price and Ruby Bates that the boys raped them. Their trial begins April 6, 1931. All of the boys except for Roy Wright are tired and convicted, with the result of the death sentence, Roy Wright’s trial ends in a mistrial. Later the NAACP and International Labor Defense, fight to represent the boys. Even though there was no proof that the boys committed these crimes they were still tried as if they did. Even when Ruby Bates admits that she was not raped the trial still continued, and the punishment or convictions were still upheld. Instead of the boys trial going along the lines of todays court mantra of “being innocent until proven guilty” it seems that they were found guilty whether or not they were innocent. The boys suffered from intuitional discrimination because they were black boys accused of committing crimes against white girls. In a time when this type of crime was treated with more severity, than it would be if both parties were the same race. The Scottsboro boys consisted Haywood Patterson, Charles Weems, Clarence Norris, Andy Wright, Ozzie Powell, Olen Montgomery, Eugene Williams, Willie Roberson, and Roy Wright. Patterson was eighteen at the time he was born in Georgia but later moved to Chattanooga. Weems was age nineteen and the oldest of the Scottsboro boys he was from Atlanta. He had a clean prison record and was paroled in 1943. Norris was eighteen at the time of the arrest he was also from Atlanta; unlike Weems he had a difficult time in prison. He complained about not being fed and often thought of the outside world in which he was not a part of. Andy Wright was the...
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