Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dude, In 1925 A Black Man Was Lynched In Price, Utah

As a lot of you know I grew up in Utah, a small community called Carbon County. I was born in Price (that's where the hospital was) and my home was in Helper. Carbon County was full of coal mines and the Rio Grand Railroad. The coal mined there and the Rio Grand that transported it to Geneva Steel 70 miles north in Vineyard, Utah helped the war effort in the Pacific during WWII. I am very proud of that fact and that my ancestors were a part of it.

But there is one thing I am not proud of.

In 1925 the last known Black man to be lynched in the Western United States was done so in Price. Witnesses at the time said that Robert Marshall shot a guard five times and others said he didn't. Either way he never got a fair trial. The 11 suspects arrested for the lynching were released because no one would identify them even though over 1,000 people showed up, some with picnic lunches.

Today there are those in Carbon County who get pissed off when this is brought up. Even back in 1998 when the New York Times did a story on the event Sun Advocate publisher Kevin Ashby called the reconciliation ceremony planned that year a slap in the face to the community by making Marshall a "a martyr out of a murderer.''  Wow, 73 years later and people were still lynching him.

Look, there are some things that you can't cover up and forget. This is just one of them.

(Thanks to my sister Brenda for the New York Times link that you can view by clicking RED.)

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