Black History, Books

Book on Columbia lynching victims

I’ve always thought there were many missing stories in the reports about the 1923 murder of James T. Scott when he was lynched based on an accusation of attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl.

A new book apparently looks at two of the stories: the one about the life of James T. Scott and the one about the girl who accused him. This April 26, 2019 Columbia Missourian article by Tynan Stewart highlights a book written about Scott. The article is the first of a two-part report on the book, “A Lynching in Little Dixie.” 

I can’t wait to read the second article and the book in hopes that it explains the question of how a murder like this can take place in broad daylight in a town of allegedly educated people.

Other questions I’ve always included what happened to his family and friends after this? What happened to the girl whose accusation led to the murder of a man who was very likely not guilty?

And if he wasn’t guilty, then the person who committed the crime was never brought to justice. What happened from the result of that? Were there other victims?

Other questions give me pause. What happened to the people who were part of the murder of Scott? How did they go on? Were they ridden with guilt? Were their lives crippled, their spirits crushed, even if the legal system left them unscathed, as we know it did.

But the question I’m really afraid to ask is has Columbia made sure that nothing like this can ever happen again?

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