NC approves first ‘Jim Crow’ state historical markers | Raleigh News & Observer

Interesting story.

«The advisory committee initially considered the proposed marker for Spicely in December. Some members were uneasy commemorating what was essentially a lynching without being able to say what impact it had on the state.

Others made the connection between Spicely and Rosa Parks, whose arrest for refusing to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 became a flashpoint in the civil rights movement. As Spicely and others show, the story didn’t begin there, said Watson Jennison, a professor at UNC Greensboro.

“It changes the narrative about when the civil rights movement begins,” Jennison said. “It’s not Rosa Parks in ‘55. Instead, it’s all these Black men and women in the ‘40s who are doing similar struggles on an individual basis. So it really leads to something much larger.”


They decided to see how other historical markers referred to Jim Crow, and a staff member took a few minutes to search the database of all 1,600 markers. It was then that they realized the phase had never appeared on a state historical marker.


On Tuesday, the advisory committee voted to approval the final language:

“Booker T. Spicely 1909-1944

Black U.S. Army soldier shot nearby in 1944 for resisting Jim Crow laws on a bus. Aftermath of killing helped revitalize North Carolina’s NAACP.”»

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