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Democracy Abroad, Lynching at HomeRacial Violence in Florida$
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Tameka Bradley Hobbs

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061047

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061047.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Still at it

Still at it

The Lynching of Jesse James Payne, Madison County, 1945

(p.156) 5 Still at it
Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home

Tameka Bradley Hobbs

University Press of Florida

The death of Jesse James Payne on October 11, 1945, in Madison, resulted from an argument he had with his landlord. Payne was kidnapped, hunted, shot, and accused of attempting to rape a five-year-old girl. His only crime may have been attempting to stand up for himself at a time when that could cost a black man his life. Even after death, however, Payne would not simply disappear. As reports of his death spread around the state and nation, the calls for justice became increasingly difficult to ignore. When investigations proved fruitless, the demands for action turned to sharp criticism, directed mainly toward Florida’s governor, Millard Caldwell. The national reaction to Jesse James Payne’s lynching indicated that an increasing number of white Americans were unwilling to look the other way while African Americans were denied due process and the full protection of the law. More important, they were concerned with the way it made their country look on the international stage, especially at the U.S. entered a "cold war" against the Soviets.

Keywords:   Millard F. Caldwell, International Labor Defense (ILD), Lynching, Madison, Florida, Madison County, Florida, Jesse James Payne

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