Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: March 5, 2016 - Last updated: June 1, 2023


Speaker: Darius Young

Title: The Lynching of Ell Persons and the Rise of the Memphis N.A.A.C.P.

Subtitle: -

Conference: 91st Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History

Place: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Date: September 26, 2006

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Prosecution: Arbitrary Law / Lynching; Cases: Real Offenders / Ell Persons: Cases: Real Victims / Antoinette Rappel: Types: Rape / Interracial Rape; Victims: Age and Gender / Female Asolescents; Victims: Physical Consequences / Homicide


Link: -


Speaker: Darius Young, Department of History, Political Science, Geography & African-American Studies, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Abstract: »A black woodchopper by the name of Ell Persons was burned alive on the outskirts of Memphis while over 5,000 spectators witnessed the savage attack. Persons was accused of the rape and murder of a sixteen-year old white girl by the name of Antoinette Rappel. After his arrest Shelby County Sheriff, Mike Tate interrogated Persons under third degree circumstances. The most convincing evidence against Persons was an alleged photograph of Antoinette Rappel's decapitated head in which Officer Paul Waggner claimed to see Person's forehead in the victim's retina. During the lynching Persons was burned alive, decapitated, and mutilated by members of the lynch mob.
Within days after the lynching the NAACP Field Secretary, James Weldon Johnson came to Memphis to investigate the situation. He met with his long time friend Robert Church, Jr. and the two developed a charter for the NAACP. The establishment of the NAACP charter in Memphis marked only the fourth branch in the South. By 1919 the Memphis NAACP became the largest branch in the South. Robert Church, Jr. was named the first member elected to the NAACP's National Board of Directors from the South. He helped to establish 68 branches in 14 states and represented over 9,000 members in the South. The Ell Persons lynching and the establishment of the Memphis NAACP changed the political and social structure of the South.« (Source: All Academic)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1865-1918), History of the United States (1918-1945) | History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of Tennessee | Civil and political rights: Civil rights organizations: NAACP | Lynching: Lynching in the United States / Lynching of Ell Persons | Sex and the law: Rape / Rape in the United States