The Green Hope Falcon

George Taylor Lynching Commemoration

Green Hope's commemoration for the first documented lynching in Wake County will take place during lunch on Thursday, November 1st by the falcon statue.

Green+Hope+will+be+hosting+a+commemoration+in+remembrance+of+George+Taylor+and+the+period+of+social+injustice+that+occurred+in+our+country%E2%80%99s+past.
Green Hope will be hosting a commemoration in remembrance of George Taylor and the period of social injustice that occurred in our country’s past.

Green Hope will be hosting a commemoration in remembrance of George Taylor and the period of social injustice that occurred in our country’s past.

Ideliya Khismatova

Ideliya Khismatova

Green Hope will be hosting a commemoration in remembrance of George Taylor and the period of social injustice that occurred in our country’s past.

Ideliya Khismatova, Student Life Editor

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On November 5th, 1918, George Taylor was lynched in Wake County, NC. Right here on the same soil we step on every day.

Green Hope will be hosting a commemoration in remembrance of George Taylor and the period of social injustice that occurred in our country’s past.

The commemoration will take place during lunch on Thursday, November 1st, outside by the Falcon statue.

We will collect a soil sample from the school grounds that will commemorate those who perished in our county and state due to injustice, and it will represent our nation’s dark past of racial terrorism and exude a hope to move forward. Other soil samples will be collected from local grounds by volunteers, such as individuals or members of organizations including churches, synagogues, and other places around Wake County. The collected soil will be sent to be a part of an exhibit at the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum, which remembers more than 4,000 African Americans who were lynched between 1877 and 1950.

Uma Bhat, a sophomore at Green Hope High School, was intrigued when she first found out about the lynching. She said, “I was never aware that there had been lynchings in Wake County, where today there’s a lot of diversity. I would never have expected something like this to happen, even early on in the county’s formational years.”

George Taylor was accused of assaulting a white woman, Ruby Rogers of Rolesville, with the only evidence against him being the sound of his voice, which was placed in the custody of a sheriff’s deputy. Mrs. Rogers was allegedly assaulted by a black man when her husband was away. After three other men were arrested and released, she reluctantly accused Taylor. Initially, Mrs. Rogers did not think it was him, but after having him repeat several phrases the attacker had said, she identified the assaulter as George Taylor.

To process his arrest, Taylor was transported to Raleigh. On the way there, Taylor and the deputies involved in transportation were intercepted by four armed Klansmen, who took them to a field where they were held at gunpoint. Over 300 citizens gathered around them to either actively or passively participate in Taylor’s murder. George Taylor was hung upside-down by his feet on a tree and was cut into pieces and shot approximately 100 times by the mob of people.

After the lynching, a grand jury was assembled but it failed to identify and, therefore, charge any of the perpetrators. All seven witnesses to this event stayed silent in the face of white supremacy. George Taylor received no trial, no due process, and no mercy.

We cannot undo what was done in the past, but we can vow to no longer remain silent or be passive in the face of racial inequality and social injustice.”

Lynching is the act of punishing a person without due process of law or without legal authority for a perceived offense. Victims of lynching are perceived as innocent because they never received a fair trial and were never proven guilty in the court of law, as they never participated in any judicial process.

According to a telegram sent to the NC governor from the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the lynching of George Taylor was the ninth one to occur in the country after President Wilson’s anti-lynching pronouncement on July 26th, 1918.

A newspaper clipping from the Raleigh News & Observer on November 11th, 1918, stated, “[The NAACP] charges the authorities with gross negligence in allowing prisoners to be so insufficiently guarded that four armed men could take them from the officers of law.”

George Taylor was one of several other victims of injustice in our area. Countless other lives were taken due to the systematic punishment known as lynching. The fear of lynching consumed the area for decades and was used to intimidate whole societies.

Now, we have progressed as a society and have the ability to remember those who had their lives ended unlawfully. We have the opportunity for a measure called “truth and reconciliation,” coined by Nelson Mandela. We recognize the horrific practice of this one and many other undocumented lynchings in Wake County, and we must identify the harm, the complicity, of silence.

We cannot undo what was done in the past, but we can vow to no longer remain silent or be passive in the face of racial inequality and social injustice.

This commemoration was inspired by the Equal Justice Initiative’s (EJI) Legacy Museum in Montgomery,  Alabama, where they document the hatred that occurred during the Jim Crow era. A group of students from Exploris Middle School, Middle Creek High School, and Raleigh Charter High School have initiated the collaboration with the EJI to commemorate George Taylor and the other victims of lynchings in our state.

Abby Rogers, a junior from Middle Creek High School said, “There’s so much history that we’re not necessarily told about and not educated about… It’s easy in today’s society to be oblivious to them, but there are so many things that happened that one we’ve never apologized for as a community and two we’ve never reconciled and moved forward from it. Abby Rogers has started a social media campaign, #remembergeorgetaylor, to promote awareness for this event.

Additionally, Exploris Middle School has thoroughly investigated this topic and created a website where they go in depth about the 1918 lynching of George Taylor.

Join our student body on November 1st and pledge to remember victims of injustice, create an opportunity for reconciliation in our community, and promise to never stay silent or passive in the face of any social injustice.

We can’t change the past, but we can sculpt the future.

About the Contributor
Ideliya Khismatova, Student Life Editor

Ideliya Khismatova is a senior writer who is in her second year of falcon news feed. She has one younger brother, one hamster, and enjoys to run during her free time. In the future, she wants to major in environmental science. Her spirit animal is a pelican because they’re majestic and they can fly. This summer she was able to go to a World Cup game to watch Spain vs. Iran. One interesting fact about Ideliya is that she speaks 3 languages. She can speak English, Russian and Tatar. Interesting enough she was born in Siberia. She thinks that the Green Hope community is a great place where people are very supportive. She enjoys going to chick fil a because of the fries, which happen to be her favorite food. If she could go to one place in the world it would be Norway because she wants to go skiing in the mountains.

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George Taylor Lynching Commemoration