Murder of Willie Brewster

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Murder of Willie Brewster
Part of the Civil Rights Movement
LocationAnniston, Alabama
DateJuly 15, 1965; 53 years ago (1965-07-15)
Attack type
Shooting
Deaths1
VictimsWillie Brewster
PerpetratorsHubert Damon Strange

Willie Brewster (April 27, 1927 – July 15, 1965) was an African American who was murdered in Anniston, Alabama, during the Civil Rights Movement by a white supremacist. The later conviction of his killer was the first instance in Alabama's history when an all-white jury penalized a white person for racial murder.[1]

Killing[edit]

On July 15, 1965, Brewster was driving home with his coworkers from a nightshift at the Union Foundry, when shots were fired into the car by white supremacist Hubert Damon Strange. Brewster was hit in the neck and died three days afterwards from his wounds. The Anniston Star published a full-page advertisement announcing that they would "pledge the sum of $20,000 to the person who supplies information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting Thursday night of Willie Brewster."[2] Hubert Damon Strange was later convicted of the murder by an all-white jury on December 2, 1965.[1] After seven hours of deliberation, the jury sentenced him to 10 years in prison. It was the first such decision by any all-white jury in Alabama.[3] The plot of shooting a black person was allegedly hatched at Ku Klux Klan member Kenneth Adams' filling station the night before Brewster was killed. [2] The men behind the killing belonged to the National States' Rights Party, a violent Neo-Nazi group whose members had been involved in church bombings and murders of blacks.[4]

Legacy[edit]

A memorial marker was erected near the site of his death in 2016, by the City of Anniston Historic Trails Program.[5] Brewster's name was placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of Civil Rights Martyrs.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Willie Brewster". www.annistoncivilrightstrail.org.
  2. ^ a b large, John FlemingEditor at. "The Death of Willie Brewster: Guns, bombs and Kenneth Adams". The Anniston Star.
  3. ^ "Crime and Punishment--Southern Style - News - The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com.
  4. ^ a b "Civil Rights Martyrs". Southern Poverty Law Center.
  5. ^ "The Murder of Willie Brewster, July 15, 1965 Historical Marker". www.hmdb.org.