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Felix Hall- The untold and forgotten story

Lynching has been prevalent in the U.S. since the 1830s. It is known to be a premeditated murder committed by a community or a group of people. However, the number of lynching cases rose in the region during the American Civil War. Majority of the lynching victims belonged to the African-American community; however, women and non-blacks were also a part of it. These were often the pretext of murdering black people who went against the etiquettes established by Jim Crow. Economic competitions with the whites were also one such reason. Lynching was at its peak from the 1890s to the 1920s.

 

A 19-year-old teen named Felix Hall is an example of such an incident. He was lynched by soldiers in Fort Benning, Georgia. He had been a part of the training held at the fort. His body was found hanging from a tree after six weeks. There were no concrete evidences found to support his case. Moreover, further investigations never took place. However, a student at Northeastern University picked up this 75-year-old case and gave it the attention that was long overdue.

 

Mills had been a part of the School of Journalism’s Media Innovation program and this case had always intrigued her. Before voicing the story of Felix Hall, she went through many books. Mills has had held many inquiries from historians who had worked closely with the military of that era. She says, “It was emotionally difficult to write this story. It has no relief point.” Mills conducted thorough research and went down every rabbit hole to get to the core of the case. “I think the American public has to deal with the truth of any number of race crimes,” she says. “Hall’s is one, but there are many more that deserve just as much attention.”

 

Subarna Basu