On April 28, 1936, a 45-year-old black farmer named Lint Shaw was shot to death by a mob of forty men in Colbert, Georgia – just eight hours before he was scheduled to go on trial for an attempted criminal assault. Mr. Shaw was accused of molesting two white women after their car had broken down.
During this era, accusations of “attempted assault” lodged against black men were often based on merely looking at or accidentally bumping into a white woman, smiling, winking, getting too close, or being alone with a white woman in the wrong place. The deep racial hostility permeating Southern society meant that accusations lodged against black people – especially against black men by white women or girls – were rarely subject to serious scrutiny by the police, press, or lynch mobs.
Following his arrest, Mr. Shaw was at constant risk of lynching and was moved multiple times to avoid mob attack. During a transfer to the jail at Danielsville, Georgia, Mr. Shaw was shot twice and rushed to Atlanta for protection and medical attention.
Mr. Shaw survived those injuries and was then returned to Danielsville to await trial, but a threatening mob again led him to be transferred. According to news reports, Superior Judge Berry T. Moseley, a 74-year-old white man, left his sick bed to scold the lynch mob and commanded officers to return Mr. Shaw to jail to await the orderly process of law. Nevertheless, while Mr. Shaw was being transported back to the jail, a group of angry men seized him. The riddled his body with bullets, and tied his corpse to a pine tree near a creek in Colbert, Georgia.
Lint Shaw was one of at least six victims of racial terror lynching killed in Madison County, Georgia, between 1907 and 1936. No one was every prosecuted for his murder.
From the Equal Justice Initiative’s A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar.
“The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is proud to present A History of Racial Injustice – 2018 Calendar. America’s history of racial inequality continues to undermine fair treatment, equal justice, and opportunity for many Americans. The genocide of Native people, the legacy of slavery and racial terror, and the legally supported abuse of racial minorities are not well understood. EJI believes that a deeper engagement with our nation’s history of racial injustice is important to addressing present-day questions of social justice and equality.