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The Violent World of Broadus Miller

A Story of Murder, Lynch Mobs, and Judicial Punishment in the Carolinas

Kevin W. Young

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Published: 04/2024
Pages: 252
Subject: Social Science, History
Print ISBN: 9781469679006
eBook ISBN: 9781469679037


In the summer of 1927, an itinerant Black laborer named Broadus Miller was accused of killing a fifteen-year-old white girl in Morganton, North Carolina. Miller became the target of a massive manhunt lasting nearly two weeks. After he was gunned down in the North Carolina mountains, his body was taken back to Morganton and publicly displayed on the courthouse lawn on a Sunday afternoon, attracting thousands of spectators.

Kevin W. Young vividly illustrates the violence-wracked world of the early twentieth century in the Carolinas, the world that created both Miller and the hunters who killed him. Young provides a panoramic overview of this turbulent time, telling important contextual histories of events that played into this tragic story, including the horrific prison conditions of the era, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, and the influx of Black immigrants into North Carolina. More than an account of a single murder case, this book vividly illustrates the stormy race relations in the Carolinas during the early 1900s, reminding us that the legacy of this era lingers into the present.