Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Scottsboro Nine

The Scottsboro Nine refers to nine African American boys who were accused of assault and the rape of two white women. They were arrested and charged in March 1931, and eight were sentenced to death. The NAACP and International Labor Defense battled to appeal their cases, reaching the US Supreme Court in November 1932. The Court reviewed the seven convictions upheld by the Alabama Supreme Court and reversed them on due process. Litigation continued for years, but ultimately Alabama released the four youngest defendants, and paroled all but one, who escaped. The widely publicized case revealed the discrimination and violence faced by blacks in the Jim Crow South.