James Byrd Jr. (pictured here), was murdered in Jasper, Texas on June 7, 1998. He was severely beaten, chained to the back of a pickup truck, then dragged three miles along an asphalt road. Byrd, who remained conscious throughout most of the ordeal, was killed when his body hit the edge of a culvert, severing his right arm and head. Byrd’s murder is considered one of the worst hate crimes since the civil rights era of the sixties.
Byrd, 49, on a walk home from his parents home in Jasper, accepted a ride from Shawn Berry (age 24), Lawrence Russell Brewer (age 31) and John King (age 23). Berry, who was driving, was acquainted with Byrd from around town. Instead of taking Byrd home, the three men took Byrd to a remote county road out of town, beat him severely, urinated on him and chained him by his ankles to their pickup truck before dragging him for approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km). The men then dumped Byrd’s mutilated remains in front of an African-American church cemetery.
Join me tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST on “Conversations Of A Sistah” via Blog Talk Radio, as I sit down with my special guest, Joyce King, Author of HATE CRIME: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas.
The critically-acclaimed book landed King on CNN, BET, NPR, USA Radio, Book TV, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
All “Conversation links” in this post make it possible to access the show.
See you on the air but in the meantime, sound off here!