106th Anniversary of Slocum Massacre – Time To Tell The True Story

“If Black lives of the past are not valued and respected, Black lives today will not be valued or respected,” Hollie-Jawaid said.

It has been 106 years already and the Slocum Massacre goes down into history as one of the darkest moments in the lives of African-Americans. It was an act of genocide witnessed in Eastern Texas town of Slocum where hundreds of Black people were indiscriminately killed by Whites. The 106th anniversary of the Slocum Massacre was marked on July 29th.

The actual cause of the whole horror is still not clear to many. But it all began in the summer period of the year 1910 when three Black teens had a misunderstanding with a group of armed White folks. As what rather appeared to be a prearranged plan, the White men shot and killed the Black teens. That was the start of the genocidal act. About 200 to 300 Black lives were lost in the mass murder as told by the then Anderson County Sheriff, William Black.

But up until now, many of the bodies have not been found. Black said, “They hunted the Negroes down like sheep,” describing the turn of events during the time of the Slocum massacre.

The president at that time was requested by some ministers in Washington D.C on 13th of August 1910 to take action. In a letter written to him, some portions read, “An impartial enforcement of law and unprejudiced treatment of citizens, regardless of ancestry, would leave little excuse for a meeting like this. Unless something is done to make human life more valuable and law more universally respected, we feel that our beloved country is doomed to destruction at no distant date.”

Hollie-Jawaid, a descendant of one of the massacre victims says she won’t relent on her effort to find the bodies of her ancestors in order to honor their memory.

“After my father and uncle passed, I carried the baton, because I passionately believe, you know, like the griot if we don’t tell the story of our history, they won’t know the greatness of our people. And if we don’t demand that the wrongs of the past are made right, our struggle will be in vain,” she says.

She is sure that there is a seriously planned work aimed at hiding the truth.

“They lied about Slocum because they know that telling the truth is the first step of dismantling those systems of oppression that eat the core of people’s existence. We must tear those down,” Hollie-Jawaid adds.

Many people still deny racism and we appreciate her noble effort to send the right message both to Blacks, who should learn the lessons of the past and fight in order not to let the tragedy repeat, and Whites, who should accept the truth and the guilt, because the situation in the present is not too far from the situation in the past.

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