Smith's death was followed by a week-long mob-driven manhunt in which at least 13 people were killed. Among those whom the mob killed was another black man, Hayes Turner, who was seized from custody after his arrest on the morning of 18 May 1918 and lynched. Distraught, his eight-month pregnant wife Mary denied that her husband had been involved in Smith's killing, publicly opposed her husband's murder, and threatened to have members of the mob arrested. The mob then turned against her, determined to "teach her a lesson.”
Although she fled when she learned of the mob's intent, Smith’s wife was nevertheless captured at noon on 19 May. The mob of several hundred brought her to Folsom Bridge over the Little River, which separates Brooks and Lowndes counties. The mob then tied her ankles, hung her upside down from a tree, doused her in gasoline and motor oil and set her on fire.
While Turner was still alive, a member of the mob split her abdomen open with a knife. Her unborn child fell on the ground where it gave a cry before it was stomped on and crushed. Finally, Turner's body was riddled with hundreds of bullets. Mary Turner and her child were cut down and buried near the tree, with a whiskey bottle marking the grave.
According to Philip Dray, “There, before a crowd that included women and children, Mary was stripped, hung upside down by the ankles, soaked with gasoline, and roasted to death. In the midst of this torment, a white man opened her swollen belly with a hunting knife and her infant fell to the ground, gave a cry, and was stomped to death. The Constitution’s coverage of the killing was: ‘Fury of the People Is Unrestrained.’"
14 year-old Emmitt Till was killed for allegedly having wolf-whistled at a white woman. Till had been badly beaten, one of his eyes was gouged out, and he was shot in the head before being thrown into the Tallahatchie River, his body weighed down with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His mother insisted on a public funeral with an open casket to show people how badly Till's body had been disfigured. News photographs circulated around the country and drew intense public reaction. People in the nation were horrified that a boy could have been killed for such an incident. The state of Mississippi tried two defendants but they were speedily acquitted.
Researchers said they determined that at least 4,000 to 5,000 black people were killed in “racial terror lynching” in the United States from the end of the Civil War to the end of the 1960s, including hundreds of women. This number doesn’t include the dozens of men, women and children killed during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1940s, 50s and 60s or the thousands of senseless killings of people of color that even continues today. Let us not forget…
This is not to disrespect those innocent civilians who recently were hurt and killed in Brussels and Paris, as well as those who senselessly have been casualties in terrorist attacks elsewhere around the world, but terrorism didn't start with ISIS, al Qaeda, The Red Brigade, IRA, FARC, Boko Aaram and Carlos The Jackal... nor did it start in America with our own homegrown Islamic terrorists.... Our country which consider itself "the home of the free and the brave" has a rich history in terrorism starting with the first European explorers that continues today, which is why Black Live Matter... so again… Let Us Never Forget...
Gregory Brown is a Founder and Managing Partner of Cyrene Holdings, a diversified merchant investment firm, and its affiliates with offices in New York and London. This former filmmaker is an internationally successful entrepreneur. He currently sits on the board of the Culture Project in New York which is dedicated to addressing critical human rights issues by creating and supporting artistic work that amplifies marginalized voices.