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Red Summer

Laurens County race riot

Wednesday Aug 27, 1919
Laurens County, Georgia, U.S.

The Laurens County, Georgia race riot was an attack on the black community by white mobs in August of 1919. In the Haynes' report, as summarized in the New York Times, it is called the Ocmulgee, Georgia race riot. On Wednesday, August 27, a black man, chosen because he seemed like the leader of the local community was lynched and on Friday morning August 29, three black churches and one community building were burnt down. He was taken from Cadwell, Georgia and killed in Ocmulgee, Georgia. The corpse of an elderly man was later pulled from the ashes of the church burnt down in Ocmulgee. The body may have belonged to Eli Cooper who was alleged to have said that "the negroes had been run over for fifty years, but this will all change in thirty days." The local white community took this to mean a call for violent revolution.