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On a September morning in 1912, in the countryside of North Georgia a search party had been formed and was out looking for a missing 18 year-old named Mae. The beautiful white farmer's daughter was found in the woods covered with leaves. She had been raped, severely beaten, and left for dead. Fear stuck the little community at the brutality of the crime. It was a violence that had never been seen before in a farming community where everyone knew each other.
A black teenager was accused of the crime. This was the Deep South and blacks were lynched for rumors of rape, or even whistling at a white woman.
But This Case Was Different.
This was one of the few cases where a white woman was actually brutally attacked and would later die. It was also different because the people from the tiny farming area didn't lynch the suspect who they knew as a neighbor boy. Instead, they turned him over to the sheriff. It would be a rare chance to see if a court in the South could hold a fair trial of an accused black attacker.
The Sheriff & Deputy
The sheriff investigated and five people were arrested; two black men, two black teenagers, and one black woman. Soon, one of them would be lynched, and the others would have to fight to save their lives in court. With an unexpected twist the case was finished in a dramatic fashion, but to this day it leaves researchers wondering what really happened.
Defendants Marching To Court
The attack resulted in a terrible racial backlash. Thousands of African-Americans all over north Georgia were threatened, houses shot into, livestock killed, and black churches were burned and dynamited. It was the beginnings of the reestablishment of a group that had been banned - the KKK. In the end it would be the largest banishment of African-Americans in U.S. history.
The filmmakers investigate this old crime to find out what really happened, if justice was served, and to uncover the ongoing affects of a hundred-year-old crime. They take on the accepted common local history and expose it to the light of day.
What This Film Is Really About
This documentary is about more than just a race charged case long since forgotten, this is about clearing names of those who were denied justice who were sacrificed to hate and vengeance. It is about our common humanity, how we find our morality, and truth.
With this documentary we will examine the evidence, hear from historians, law history professors, and talk with experts about racism and seek to understand how this could happen. How a church deacon can lynch a man, and go to church days later? Personally, I will seek to answer my burning question: "If I lived here 100 years ago would I have done the same thing?"
Photo of Crowd From the Gallows
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
We aren't from LA. There isn't any studio involved funding this film. We don't have any rich investors. There isn't a big Hollywood heavyweight producer involved. This film will only happen because of you. It will live or die because of our friends and supporters. The more money we raise the better this film can be. We need you to believe in this story, believe in this documentary, and believe in us. We are asking that you dare to believe with us that this little film will not only entertain, but it will change the lives of those who watch it.