Olen Montgomery, Clarence Norris, Haywood Patterson, Ozie Powell, Willie Roberson, Charles Weems, Eugene Williams, Andy Wright, and Roy Wright ranged in age from twelve to twenty years.
Just after the train crossed into Alabama it stopped for water in Stevenson where a fight broke out between some of the black youths and white teenagers on board.
Like Reiss, Douglas focused on the essential humanity and dignity of his subjects.
This drawing was probably made around 1935, when the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the convictions in the Norris and Patterson cases because of Alabama’s exclusion of blacks from the jury rolls.
In his illustrations and painted murals, Douglas created new, modernist prototypes to express the African American experience, incorporating influences from Egyptian art, West African sculpture, cubist painting, and Art Deco design.
Ultimately, he became an influential professor at Fisk University.
The widely condemned verdicts and the subsequent reversals, retrials, and hearings—including two successful appeals to the United States Supreme Court—mobilized protests across the country and the world.
The International Labor Defense (ILD), the legal arm of the Communist Party, hoping to recruit black workers to their cause, led the defense instead of the more deliberate NAACP.
In the long struggle for civil rights and racial equality in America, few episodes had the impact of the infamous Scottsboro Boys case.
When nine black teenagers falsely accused of raping two women on a freight train were tried in Scottsboro, Alabama,in 1931, white juries found eight of the nine guilty, and they were sentenced to death.