Hundreds view reenactment of Georgia lynching

Monroe, Ga. — On July 28, more than 500 people watched the dramatic reenactment of a gruesome lynching that happened near here over 65 years ago. The event dramatized the July 25, 1946, murders of Black sharecroppers George and Mae Murray Dorsey and Roger and Dorothy Malcolm.

The four were killed by a group of Ku Klux Klan members at Moore’s Ford Bridge at the Walton-Oconee county line. Their bodies were riddled with more than 100 bullets. The crime remains unsolved.

The Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, along with national and local community leaders and activists, have held the reenactment each year since 2005.

According to the narration of the reenactment, the couples were ambushed after Roger Malcolm was bonded out of jail by his spouse and friends. He’d been held there for stabbing Barney Hester, a prominent local white farmer. Malcolm, a World War II veteran, had confronted Hester about his mistreatment of his spouse while he was away in the service.

The reenactment began with a rally at the First African Baptist Church. Speakers included State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who has led the effort to bring attention to the case, and Dr. C. T. Vivian, interim president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

A caravan of cars then visited several locations, from the farmhouse where the altercation between the farmer and Roger Malcolm took place, to the old jailhouse where Malcolm had been held. Last stop was the lynching site at Moore’s Ford Bridge.

A lifelong Walton County resident, John Patterson, says he was two years old when the murders happened. He said no one ever wanted to talk about it, and even 65 years later, people are still hesitant to speak of what happened, since the killers are thought to be from still powerful families.

In the crowd were Cherie Fairfax and her fiancé, William Brown, who traveled from Douglasville, Ga., to witness the reenactment. They both found the information thought provoking and educational and plan to attend every year until justice is done.

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