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Article Critique
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Article Critique Assignment: Justice failed Austin Callaway (Article Critique Sample)


Article: http://www(dot)cnn(dot)com/2017/01/26/us/lagrange-georgia-callaway-1940-lynching/index.html

Justice Failed Austin Callaway
The article appeared in CNN online highlighting the grief of a town called LaGrange in Georgia, where an occasion provided the locals with an opportunity to amend the mistakes of the past. Emmanuella Grinberg (2017) provides a sad ordeal of how some white assailants in 1940 lynched a young black inmate. The report got a slight whiff from the dailies, appearing in one of the less read areas of a newspaper. According to the author, no one bothered to follow up the matter: the police failed to investigate the matter, the courts did not provide any action and the media remained mum after the first day that the incidence happened. The deceased was only 16 years old by then.
The author shows how 76 years later the town people gathered in a church to remember the ordeal and reconcile with each other. Both blacks and whites attended the ceremony, together with the police, the mayor, some politicians, and civilians. In the article, it is clear that the ceremony aimed at reconciling the African American community with the whites, who appeared to have borne the greatest amount of suffering during the dark ages of rampant racial discrimination and segregation. The sentiments of forgiveness were evident in the speech of every leader who stood up to speak during the event.
The author provides a surprising account of how the police failed to find official records, gravestone or media accounts of the murder, showing how the lynching of the young African American in that era passed with a hush among the town dwellers. Another irony provided is that Callaway’s name remained anonymous to almost everyone in LaGrange, including the police, the mayor, and even his descendants. The police chief came to learn of the lynching through an eavesdropped conversation between some women who visited the police headquarters. The police boss thought it was a serious matter and after carrying out an investigation, decided to offer a public apology for mistakes committed by the police in the past.
In an account by the police boss, the lynching happened when six armed gunmen broke into a jail where Callaway was held for attacking a white woman, fled with him, and killed him somewhere in the countryside. The town judge at the time only ordered for the jails to secure their entrances while the police failed to investigate the matter. The author provided examples of speeches from some powerful individuals in attendance at the meeting, who saw it as an opportunity for the different groups in the community to bury the hatchet and move on.
The hatred between the African Americans and the whites at that era was great, evidenced by the fact that Callaway’s relatives stayed for so many years without learning about their relative’s demise. According to a statement in the article by Deborah Tatum, who came to know about Callaway while doing a research on genealogy, said that the family hid the matter from them to keep them from the dark memories of the past. James Callaway, Tatum’s uncle, ...
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