H. J. Williams Recalls Lynching in Yazoo County, Mississippi | Facing History & Ourselves
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.
Last Updated:

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 & Ourselves, “H. J. Williams Recalls Lynching in Yazoo County, Mississippi,” last updated March 14, 2016. 

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

You might also be interested in…

The resources I’m getting from my colleagues through Facing History have been just invaluable.
— Claudia Bautista, Santa Monica, Calif