Turner County Justice

I have been toying with a alt-history distopian future sci- fi comic that is based on the idea that Nat Turner’s Rebellion was successful; black people became the majority population in the south; and they did not leave during the great migration. In between working on my Bessie Stringfield comic I have taken to creating some of the back story for the afro-futurism story. Here is a short faux newspaper article that will more than likely lead into the full story:

Bristol, West Libertas, USA circa 1919 

“Turner County, West Libertas. A group of white men tried to overthrow the county seat in Turner last night, and met a brutal end. The negro townspeople rose up, and put down the costumed ruffians, capturing two of  criminals and disposing of them in a public manner (as pictured here). They called themselves the Knights of the Confederacy, dressed as ghost in a feeble attempt to terrify, and harass the good people of Turner County. The so called knights proposed to align themselves with the scourge of the American South: the treasonist Confederacy that was vanquished in Emancipation War of the last century. The older towns folk, some of them veterans of General Nat Turner’s army, are made of sterner stuff a lesson the nerdowell learned at the end of a rope. These attacks have been on the rise, as of late,  as some of the white southern minority lament the “olden days of Dixie”. Other towns in West Libertas, and just across the Appalachian Mountains in Libertas have taken to banishing its’ white citizens before they can cause trouble. “Dey is a cruel people, prone to evil deeds, and dey ain’t gots no place with law-abiding black folks,” remarked one old timer. Those that chose to stay have been informed by the local authorities that they will be watched. Keep reading The Freedmen’s Herald daily for more on this recent crime wave.”

Rufus Smith, editor

The Freedmen’s Herald

August 15, 1915

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3 comments on “Turner County Justice
  1. Marcus Jones says:

    Joel, I know a great story you can include in a future publication about 4 courageous black women from South Carolina who took it upon themselves in 1940 to try to register to vote in the then all-white Democratic Party. They were denied, threatened and run out the Gaffney, SC Courthouse by a mob. They wrote to the NAACP and they were put in touch with a young lawyer named Thurgood Marshall. With Marshall’s help, they took their voting rights battle to federal court–charging the registrars with criminal conspiracy. An all-white jury acquitted the registrars, but the women, who lost their jobs and endured two years of harassment and death threats (FBI agents were assigned to protect them), made an impression on Marshall, who would later recruit other South Carolinians to legally challenge injustice in voting, in schools and other areas where Jim Crow segregation prevailed. Please contact Marcus Jones (marcusejones12@gmail.com) for more information.

  2. Sandra Cox says:

    Mr. Gill,

    I sought out your website hoping to contact you directly. I’ve just taught Strange Fruit in my graduate course on graphic literature, and I wanted to share with you how interested my students were in your diegetic narrative strategies in the text. We situated your work alongside other pieces of graphic historiography — Colon and Jacobson’s The 9/11 Report, Neufeld and Gladstone’s The Influencing Machine and two mini-comics by Emi Gennis — and the conversation about how illustration changes the narrative function of historical writing was truly illuminating. Thank you so much for your work.

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