Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
An Unseen LightBlack Struggles for Freedom in Memphis, Tennessee$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Aram Goudsouzian and Charles W. McKinney Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813175515

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813175515.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use (for details see www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 12 December 2018

“The Saving of Black America’s Body and White America’s Soul”

“The Saving of Black America’s Body and White America’s Soul”

The Lynching of Ell Persons and the Rise of Black Activism in Memphis

Chapter:
(p.39) “The Saving of Black America’s Body and White America’s Soul”
Source:
An Unseen Light
Author(s):

Darius Young

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813175515.003.0003

In 1917 Ell Persons was lynched in Memphis, Tennessee. Persons, a black woodchopper in his thirties, was burned alive in front of a crowd of at least 15,000 spectators at the Wolf River Bridge after being accused of raping and murdering a sixteen-year-old white schoolgirl by the name of Antoinette Rappel. This essay provides a detailed narrative of the lynching, which garnered international attention, but it also discusses the reactions and activism of black Memphians in the wake of this horrific event. Robert Church Jr. took a leadership role and drove the establishment of the city’s NAACP chapter. This essay shows how the lynching of Ell Persons shaped and was shaped by the political, social, and racial atmosphere of Memphis during the Jim Crow era.

Keywords:   Memphis, Ell Persons, lynching, Robert Church, NAACP

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .