CHAPTER 1

The Public Relations Campaign to Free Rosa Lee Ingram

On a chilly November morning in 1947, near the small town of Ellaville, Georgia, about 115 miles south of Atlanta, John Stratford confronted Rosa Lee Ingram. Stratford and Ingram, who were both sharecroppers, had a long-standing feud about Ingram’s livestock running over Stratford’s fields (Shadron 1991, p. 30). That morning, Stratford threatened to kill the cattle if Ingram could not control them. Ingram and two of her sons began looking for the animals; however, nothing would appease Stratford that day. According to Mrs. Ingram, he came at her with a rifle. She struggled with Stratford and her sons came to her aid, wresting the gun from him and hitting him on the head. In the end, ...

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