Eugene Williams Case

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Thirteen year old, Eugene Williams, was traveling from Chattanooga to Memphis looking for work when he was accused of rape (PBS, “Williams”). Eight other blacks were accused of rape along with Eugene by Ruby Bates and Victoria Price on March 25, 1931. However, there was an overall discrimination and hatred of blacks during the time period, Bates and Price were unable to identify their attackers and answer questions, and there was a lack of physical evidence. Eugene Williams was not guilty of rape. Undoubtedly, Eugene Williams was guilty, although he was guilty of hoboing, not rape. According to “Segregation in the Jim Crow Era,” during this time, especially in a southern state like Alabama, there was much discrimination and hatred towards blacks. Bates and Price probably assumed that they could get away with their inaccurate claim due to the treatment of blacks during the time. It is hard to believe that nine men would rape two girls on a crowded, slow moving train, and then not try to escape. However, due to the time period, and the hatred seen towards blacks, people would rather take the side of two white girls than defend a group of African Americans. …show more content…

They lived during the Great Depression, and Price earned all the money for her family (PBS, “Victoria Price”). Bate’s mother was a prostitute, and she was often beaten by her drunk father. Bates herself was described as a “notorious prostitute” (Linder, “Trials”). It is likely the girls wanted attention and made up the story. The girls disagreed on a few “key points” in the trial, and they could not identify their attackers (Linder, “Trials”). Price replied “I can’t say” or “I can’t remember” to many of the defense’s questions (“Price’s Testimony”). The lack of testimony and agreement between the girls suggests that they were not being truthful, and that the story was made

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