Reading

H. J. Williams Recalls Lynching in Yazoo County, Mississippi

H. J. Williams, in an interview about living in the segregated South, shares a memory of a lynching that took place in Yazoo County, Mississippi.
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At a Glance

Reading

Language

English — US

Subject

  • History
  • Racism

H. J. Williams, who was born in 1910 and lived mostly in Alabama, was interviewed in the 1990s about living in the segregated South. Williams recalls a lynching in Yazoo County, Mississippi in this excerpt of the interview.


MAUSIKI SCALES (INTERVIEWER): Did they have lynchings down here that you recall?

H. J. WILLIAMS: Oh yeah, they had some lynchings. Yeah. Sure. I can take you to a place right on there on Shorty Creek where they lynched a man. That’s right. Hung him to a limb. Sure did. Oh yeah. That’s right. There was lynching back then in those days.

MAUSIKI SCALES: Why did they hang him?

H. J. WILLIAMS: Huh?

MAUSIKI SCALES: Why did they hang him?

H. J. WILLIAMS: Well, they claim that he was a friend to a white lady. That’s what they claim. Now whether it was true or not, I don’t know and I haven’t heard anybody else say they knowed, but that’s what they claimed and they lynched him. That’s right. Well, due to the fact as I was coming up, back in those days I remember this.... 1

  • 1H. J. Williams, interview by Mausiki S. Scales, August 8, 1995, “H. J. Williams interview,” Behind the Veil, Duke University Digital Libraries, accessed May 6, 2014.

How to Cite This Reading

Facing History and Ourselves, “H. J. Williams Recalls Lynching in Yazoo County, Mississippi,” last updated April 29, 2022. 

This reading contains text not authored by Facing History and Ourselves. See footnotes for source information.

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