After the verdict came down on December 9, 1966, nearly 300 students came together at the college gym. As their anger rose, the students flooded the town and marched, protesting the acquittal. By days end, nearly two thousand students, locals, and workers had amassed in demonstration against the verdict. As more people gathered, the demonstrators demanded answers for the travesty of Sammy Younge Jr.'s death. No answers would be forthcoming. The protestors obtained cans of paint and vandalized the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, located in the local park. They covered it with black paint and a yellow stripe along the back. Protestors painted the base with the words “Black Power” and “Sam Younge”.
Despite the protests, the anger and action, the event would soon be forgotten. The murder of Sammy Younge Jr. must be remembered. His death shows a glimpse into our past we are repeating today in Alabama and America. Racism and social injustices are still prevalent in Alabama and America. Laws and amendments cannot change the people. Murders, riots, and protests are often not mentioned in history textbooks, and some may even be forgotten. Alabamians should remember tragedies such as the murder of Younge to use as a guiding light for our future.
- “A Personal Mission: Sammy Younge Jr..” www.learningforjustice.org/classroom-resources/texts/a-personal-mission-sammy-younge-jr
- “Black Protesters Have Been Rallying against Confederate Statues for Generations.” Smithsonian.com https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/black-protestors-have-been-rallying-against-confederate-statues-generations-180977484/.