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Q&A with Ty Stewart on his Two-Part Series about James T. Scott

In 2003, Pat Roberts got a call from her cousin. She told Roberts, who lived in New York, that she should read a series published by a newspaper in Columbia, Missouri. 

The paper had just printed a decades-old family secret — one that neither of them knew.

"Legacy of a Lynching," which ran in the Columbia Missourian in May of that year, told the story of a black man's murder at the hands of a white mob 80 years before. It went something like this:

On April 20, 1923, a 14-year-old white girl was attacked on the MKT Railroad tracks near MU. The girl identified a black man named James T. Scott as her attacker, and he was charged with attempted rape.

But his case never went to trial. Instead, a white mob broke into his jail cell, dragged him through the streets and hung him from the Stewart Road bridge. No members of the mob were ever convicted of a crime.

Scott was killed on April 29, 1923. 

To read more, visit our partner at columbiamissourian.com.