April 23 "coffee hour" presentation
On Wednesday, April 23, Saje Mathieu will present "Bound for Canaan: Lynching, Escape, and Canadian Sanctuary" from 2:00-3:30 in the Geneva H. Southall Library (Social Sciences Tower 815). [Presentation Abstract]
After having taken part in a race riot in 1921 that left two men dead and several more in a hospital, Matthew Bullock, a Great War veteran, reached the border and cited his reason for requesting entry into Canada: he urgently needed political asylum from North Carolinian lynchers. His brother and cousin had both been lynched by white supremacists determined to punish young insurgent African Americans for challenging local Jim Crow rule. Fearing for his life, Bullock raced to Canada, where he hoped to be beyond the reach of American lynch law. But North Carolinian officials -- namely Governor Cameron Morrison -- capitalized on Bullock's escape to Canada as an opportunity to curry favor with foreign governments over the question of lynching, explaining to the Canadian press that lynching was the South's distinct way of "dealing with criminals." Professor Mathieu will analyze the international tug-of-war over Matthew Bullock, which pitted Canadians vs. Americans intent on exercising their own brand of justice against African Americans who dared speak against Southern rule of law. With the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill before Congress that same year, Canadians, African Americans, and the NAACP forged a powerful alliance, hoping that Bullock's case would call international attention to rise of racialized violence in the South.