Thursday, February 18, 2010
Video: Scottsboro Boys Museum Grand Opening & Dedication
Video: Scottsboro Boys Museum - Open House
Civil Rights Leader Urges Crowd At Scottsboro Boys Museum Opening To Rededicate Themselves To Cause
By David Brewer
February 01, 2010, 2:56PM
SCOTTSBORO, AL - Seventy-eight years after the Jackson County trial of nine black men
Kathy Horton GarrettDavid Brewer/The Huntsville TimesKathy Horton Garrett, granddaughter of Judge James E. Horton, who presided over the re-trial of the 1930s Scottsboro Boys case, spoke to about 100 people today at the dedication of the Scottsboro Boys Museum at the 133-year-old Joyce Chapel United Methodist Church.
accused of raping two white women caught the world's attention, officials on
Monday dedicated a museum they said shows how far the civil rights movement has come.
"I believe Dr. (Martin Luther) King would be amazed, delighted," said Lecia Brooks, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Civil Rights Museum in Montgomery. "But I believe he would say it's not enough. Our country has a long way to go. The scars of our nation's history have not fully healed."
Brooks and Kathy Horton Garrett, granddaughter of Judge James E. Horton, who presided over the re-trial of the nine men in Decatur in 1933, spoke to about 100 people at Monday's official opening of the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center at Joyce Chapel United Methodist Church on West Willow Street.
Garrett, who was 17 when Horton died in 1973, said she really didn't get a chance to discuss the case with her grandfather but learned from the overwhelming number of letters he had received from around the world what an extraordinary man he was.
"He was an ordinary man who did an extraordinary thing," she said.
About a year after all nine men were convicted in a Jackson County courtroom, with eight getting the death sentence and the ninth life in prison, Horton ordered a new trial for all nine because insufficient evidence was presented at the first trial.
Having won previous elections without any opposition, his unpopular ruling led to his defeat a year later.
Garrett said she learned from her parents that her grandfather did not regret the action he took in the Scottsboro Boys case. "He never complained, (and) he never raised his voice," she said. "He knew he did the right thing."
With the case prompting the U.S. Supreme Court to issue two groundbreaking cases - the right to legal counsel and the right to equal protection under the law, "Scottsboro ushered in the modern civil rights movement," Brooks said.
But with a 50 percent increase in hate groups nationwide since 2000, Brooks reminded members of the audience to rededicate themselves to the cause for social justice.
"Remembering is not enough. Celebrating court victories is not enough," she said.
'Scottsboro Boys' Case Gets Renewed Interest
Posted by tha artivist at 12:11 AM