TKAM – Scottsboro: An American Tragedy Name Viewer’s Guide

TKAM – Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
Viewer’s Guide
On March 25, 1931, a train left Chattanooga unknowingly carrying about two dozen hobos. This was the start of an event that
would span several decades and bring arguments, unrest, and finally the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement to Alabama.
1. What started the fight between the groups of black and white hobos?
2. When the train stopped in Paint Rock, AL a posse had organized to get the boys. What did they ‘discover’?
3. What did Victoria Price and Ruby Bates allege had happened?
4. Where were the 9 boys taken?
5. What was the mood outside the jail?
6. What was the Sheriff’s reaction? Who did he call?
7. List the nine boys…
Charlie Weems (19)
Eugene Williams (13)
Willie Roberson
Olen Montgomery
Clarence Norris
Ozie Powell
Andy Wright (19)
Roy Wright (13)
Haywood Patterson (18)
8. Describe the economy of Alabama in 1931.
9. What kind of life had Victoria and Ruby led up until now?
10. Describe the scene on the morning that the trial started…
11. As the economical misery of life during the Depression rose, what other feelings, tensions, etc. were rising
12. What does “corroborated” mean? (As in, Ruby “corroborated” Victoria’s story?)
TKAM – Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
Viewer’s Guide
1. Describe the trial and outcome…
2. Which group was the first to step up and offer assistance to the boys?
3. What is the ILD? How did they gain access to the Scottsboro boys in prison?
4. Who was found to represent the boys? What was he known for?
5. The trial was moved to Decatur, AL. Howard Patterson was the first to be tried; Why?
6. Describe the Jury…
7. What happened to Ruby Bates?
8. Describe Victoria Price’s testimony…
9. Describe Liebowitz’s cross-examination…
10. How can you tell if someone is lying?
TKAM – Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
Viewer’s Guide
(45:29 to the end)
1. How did the audience in the courtroom and the jury respond to Leibowitz’s attack on Victoria Price?
2. Who was Leibowitz’s surprise female witness? Summarize her testimony.
3. Who decided there was merit to overturn the guilty verdict and on June 22, 1933, announced the Scottsboro
defendants would stand trial a third time?
4. In the third trial, Clarence Norris and Haywood Patterson were quickly found guilty. How did the Scottsboro boys
begin to behave toward one another in jail after their verdicts?
5. The fourth Scottsboro trial resulted in the conviction of ___________ of the nine Scottsboro boys.
6. How many years did eight of the nine Scottsboro boys spend in prison?
7. After their release, most of the Scottsboro boys continued to live troubled lives: Haywood Patterson
_________________; Andy Wright was falsely accused of __________________________________; Roy Wright
served in the military, but he later _________________________________________________.
8. Why do you think Harper Less uses ideas from this case in her novel To Kill a Mockingbird? Provide a detailed response
for this question and make as many connections as possible to the trial and the novel.