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Exhibition Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words

Dr. P. A. Stephens to NAACP Secretary Walter White concerning the Scottsboro Boys, April 2, 1931. Autograph letter. NAACP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (016.00.00)

Scottsboro Boys

On March 25, 1931, nine black youths were falsely accused of raping two white women on a freight train in Scottsboro, Alabama. Raymond Parks brought them food in jail and met secretly with other black activists to raise money for their defense. Eight of the nine youths were convicted and sentenced to death within a month. In this letter Dr. P. A. Stephens, a black physician and president of the Methodist Episcopal Church Layman’s Association, asks the NAACP for assistance.