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Steven J. Niven

lynching victim, was born Ricedor Cleodas Watson near Gethsemane in Jefferson County, Arkansas, the first child of Albert Leak Watson, a logger, and Alonzo (Woolfolk) Watson, a farmer. Both parents had children from previous marriages. Wright believed, probably incorrectly, that his natural father was named Henry Wright and adopted that surname as an alias around 1937 after robbing a grocery store. Cleo Wright's early life was fairly typical of rural blacks in the Jim Crow South in the years between World War I and World War II: he attended the local segregated grade school, but only after the vital work of bringing in his mother's cotton crop, among other tasks, had been completed.

A talented pianist, tap dancer, and baseball pitcher, Wright made friends easily. Like many adolescent young men he got into fights occasionally, though only if provoked, and he did not have a violent reputation. In 1932 ...

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David H. Anthony

U.S. Navy veteran, Tuskegee student, SNCC worker, and civil rights martyr, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, son of Renee and Samuel Younge Sr. His mother was an elementary school teacher, and his father was an occupational therapist, head of the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Veterans' Hospital (Tuskegee) and later attached to the U.S. Forest Service. Younge's life was marked by a series of uncompromising role models within and beyond his family. In the town of Tuskegee itself, he grew up in a black middle-class enclave that valued both education and self-respect. Yet even among this relatively privileged enclave that existed for Tuskegee's educated African American elite, Samuel L. Younge Jr.'s childhood was far more individualistic than most Credit for this belonged to his mother Renee who although conscious of the negative power of racist stereotypes in limiting the horizons of talented ...