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Unveiling Injustice

The Digitial Investigation on the Lynching of Willie Earle



Willie Earle

Willie Earle fell victim to a horrific murder, marking the final racial lynching in South Carolina.

February 15, 1947, Earle, an African American hailing from Greenville, was apprehended and incarcerated for the alledged robbery and fatal stabbing of Thomas Watson Brown, a white taxi driver in Greenville.

The following day, a mob of thirty-one individuals forcibly removed Earle from his cell at the Pickens County Jail and transported him to the outskirts of Greenville, where they lynched him. Earle's mutilated body, bearing stab and shotgun wounds, was discovered on the same day.

Despite twenty-six defendants openly admitting their involvement in the murder, an all-white jury swiftly acquitted all thirty-one men.

Why? To provide a more local insight into racial violence and its historical context.

Some of the 28 men acquitted in the lynching of Willie Earle celebrate in the courtroom in Greenville, South Carolina, following the jury’s verdict on May 21, 1947

Audience and Goals

Audience: Students, educators, scholars, and the public interested in American history and social justice.

Goals: To offer valuable resources for learning, discussion, and research.

Format and Design Plan

Step 1. Copyright

I have contacted the University of South Carolina to obtain permission to use the oral interviews and other archival material for this project. I am still waiting for a response.

Step 2. Domains and Media

Once I get the copyright, I will get a domain name for my site and begin creating interactive media that will help bring new life to the story of Willie Earle.

Step 3. About Page

I plan to create an About page to explain why I created this project and the project's mission statement.

Step 4. Finishing Touches

Once the site is created and I have obtained the proper permissions, I hope to send it to the Lynching in America Project run by the Equal Justice Initiative so that Willie Earles's story can be told nationally with other local stores.


Visual Elements

Map of Greenville

Oral Interview