I wrote this story in memory of my father. In 1941 he was asked to lead a lynching mob. As the story was told to me, he responded, “Ain’t leading no lynching for no one who puts a sheet over his head. Cowards they are. Let the Law handle it.”
I was eight years old when I witnessed the aftermath of that lynching. My father had heard from a neighbor that a black man had been hanged about a mile from our house.
My father allowed me to ride with him to the location of the lynching. We saw police vehicles and an ambulance as they were leaving the scene.
I remember my father trying to explain to me about lynching. I was frightened, and for many months afterward I had bad dreams, during which I would awaken to a choking sensation.
The image of that awful day has remained with me from 1941 to the present. A year ago, I decided to purge myself of the memory by writing this story.
I have taken that lynching and set to fiction the events before and after a man was hanged by a mob in Jones County, Mississippi in 1941. Except for locations and allusions to certain public figures, the names of everything and everyone else are strictly from my imagination.