8ELA - Mr. Alper
Some boys (black and white) hitched a
ride on a train. They were looking for
A fight broke out and the white boys were
shoved off the train.
When the train arrived at the next station,
the 9 black boys were arrested.
What do you
think they were
Two women in another car on the train
who had never seen the boys claimed that
the 9 black boys raped them. The white
boys who were thrown off confirmed this
The two women were
Victoria Price and Ruby
Left: Ruby Bates &
Victoria Price in
The Scottsboro 9 went to trial. They were
represented by volunteer lawyers who
Even though the evidence had holes in it,
8 were sentenced to death. One, Roy
Wright, the youngest (13), was sentenced
to life in prison.
Do you think their trial
People & Events: Leroy "Roy" Wright,
1918 - 1959 His Account (in his words):
"They whipped me and it seemed like they
was going to kill me. All the time they
kept saying, "now will you tell?" and
finally it seemed like I couldn't stand no
more and I said yes. Then I went back
into the courtroom and they put me up on
the chair in front of the judge and began
asking a lot of questions, and I said I had
seen Charlie Weems and Clarence Norris
with the white girls."
-- Roy Wright, to New York Times reporter
Raymond Daniell, March 10, 1933
Roy Wright’s Account
Based on what Roy Wright told the
reporter, turn and talk to the person
sitting next to you and jot down the
answers to these…
What are the police supposed to do in our society?
How was Wright treated and how did this affect his
Evaluate this with regard to justice.
The Nation Becomes Outraged
News of the injustices in the judicial
system of the South reached the entire
country and even across the globe.
People started letter writing campaigns,
rallies, and marches. There were even
demonstrations in Paris, Moscow, and
Primary Source Analysis Activity
The following are posters and pamphlets from
1. On a clean piece of notebook paper, draw a
line dividing the paper in half. Label one side
Observations and the other Conclusions
2. Take a look at these sources and write down
the observations you can make on the
Observations section of your paper. They might
be words, phrases, places, or images. What do
3. On the Conclusions side of your paper, write
down the information you gathered from the
sources. It may include how people felt, what
people did, who made these sources, why people
made these sources, how far-reaching these
Write a written response to these
1. Were the Scottsboro boys treated unfairly?
2. Why do you think people failed to treat the
Scottsboro boys with justice?
3. Predict how Alabama will respond to these
rallies and protests.
4. Predict what will happen to the boys. To
Ruby Bates and Victoria Price.
8ELA - Mr. Alper
The Supreme Court Steps In
In 1932 the Supreme Court ruled in Powell
v. Alabama that the trials were invalidated
because they did not have proper
representation from a lawyer.
What do you
courts will do
A New Trial
Haywood Patterson was given a new trial
Samuel Leibowitz heard of the injustices
and offered to defend Patterson.
One of the women, Ruby Bates, retracted
her testimony, and a doctor testified there
was no evidence of rape.
Take a look at your next primary source,
Letter from Ruby Bates to Earl Streetman (next slide)
Why does Bates claim she lied?
How does she feel about what she did?
How do you think the jury will respond to her
LETTER FROR RUBY BATES TO EARL STREETMAN (handwritten)
Jan 5 1932
215 Connelly Aly
I want to make a statment too you Mary Sanders is a goddam lie about
those negroes jassing me those policement made me tell a lie that is my
statement because I want too clear myself that is all too if you want to
believe, ok. If not that is ok. You will be sorry someday if you had to
stay in jail with eight Negroes you would tell a lie two. those Negroes did
not touch me or those white boys. i hope you will believe me the law
don't. i love you better than Mary does ore any body else in the
world. that is why i am telling you of this thing. i was drunk at the time
and did not know what i was doing. I know it was wrong to let those
Negrroes die on account of me. i hope you will believe me. I was jazed
but those white boys jazed me. i wish those Negores are not burnt on
account of me. it is these white boys fault. that is my statement. and
that is all i know. i hope you tell the law hope you will answer.
Jan 5, 1932
215 Connelly ally
P.S. this is the one time i might tell a lie but it is the truth so god help me.
The jury found Patterson guilty.
The judge threw out the case because he
claimed that there was not enough
evidence for the jury to convict him.
He is tried again but this time with
another boy, Clarence Norris.
They are convicted again.
“sentenced to the electric chair
3 times” -- Norris
The Supreme Court Steps In Again
In 1935 the Supreme Court ruled in Norris
v. Alabama that the convictions were
wrong because it was not a jury of their
peers, because there were no blacks on
Alabama decided to try the defendants
The trials last into the 1940s.
How It All Ends
Five of the boys, Ozie Powell, Andy
Wright, Clarence Norris, Haywood
Paterson, and Charlie Weems are
convicted and get long prison sentences.
They drop the charges of four of the boys,
Roy Wright, Eugene Williams, Olen
Montgomery, and Willie Roberson.
Haywood and crowd