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In Little Rock, Arkansas, 1927, a racial riot erupted over the lynching of John Carter, a black man who was the fall guy for the homicide of a 12-year old white girl named Floella McDonald. The child was found in First Presbyterian Church. Originally, the blame fell on the church janitor who found the girl along with his mixed-race son.  The men were safely moved to a Texarkana jail before a mob demanded blood.

In a nearby city, a 38 year-old black man named John Carter had been accused of assaulting a white woman and her daughter. The angry white mob of 5,000 people found Carter, hung him from a pole, shot him and drug him through the streets. They took him to the black community and incited a riot, breaking into buildings, including a furniture retail store. The mob piled the wooden furniture and doors from the church together, set it on fire and burned Carter’s body at the intersection of 9th and Broadway.

The Arkansas National Guard was deployed to stop the riot, and upon arrival, found one of the mob members directing traffic at the intersection with the arm of John Carter. Fortunately, the black community leader had encouraged black families to stay inside, avoiding a large death toll during the massive tension.

Once the riot and killing of Carter went to trial, it was dismissed without indictment of anyone involved. The city was concerned about their national reputation in the media. They banned distribution of the black newspapers, The Chicago Defender and The Pittsburgh Courier, with fear that it would cause more tension.

To make matters worse, the town was still in search of the killer of 12 year-old Floella McDonald. On May 19th, Lonnie Dixon, the mixed-race son of the First Presbyterian Church janitor, was tried and convicted of murder. He was sentenced to death. After being under watch by the Arkansas National Guard during trial, Dixon was executed a month later.

There are current efforts underway to obtain a public marker at the intersection of 9th and Broadway to honor John Carter and pinpoint the tolerance of the Little Rock court system. A small display exists at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.


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9 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: The John Carter Story

  1. @ Lioness
    If you really believe that statement that you first wrote witch was beautiful.
    You have to believe we have the intelligents, and spiritual wisdom to take on such a project for the benefit of our nation. Otherwise your words are not truly felt.
    We can’t be worse then the people we have been trusting.

  2. Lioness27 on said:

    Great idea! But that is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out who or what group to trust to handle the money, to green light the projects and to keep the books. Stay blessed.


    42 million The number of Black people identified in America in a 2010 Census. That makes up 13.6 percent of the total U.S. population. $ 4.00 out of my check a week x 4 weeks = $ 16.00 x 12= $ 192.00 now $ 192.00 x half all African Americans 20 million =’s $ 3,840,000,000.00 is that right and that’s only half the Blacks for one year. We can fix our own schools, and we can start to build another Black Wall St. Without having to ask the tea party House of Representatives. What are we scared?

  4. Lioness27 on said:

    Many have tried to destroy us. But we are too strong, too intelligent, too creative, too spiritual and overall have been endowed by the creator with too many gifts in mind, body and soul to be defeated. Never give up and never give in to the haters!

    Stay blessed.

  5. On the Night of May 31,1921, mobs called for the lynching of Dick Rowland, A Black Man who shined shoes, after hearing reports that on the previous day he had assaulted Sarah Page, A white woman, in the elevator she operated in a downtown building. The Date Was June 1, 1921, “BLACK WALL


    The name fittingly given to one of the most

    affluent All-BLACK Communities in America,

    was bombed from the air and Burned to the

    ground by mobs of envious Whites. In a

    period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once

    thriving Black Business District in northern

    Tulsa lay smoldering — a model Community

    destroyed and a major African-American

    economic movement resoundingly defused.
    The Night’s Carnage left some 3,000 African
    Americans Dead and over 600 Successful
    Businesses Lost.
    (So who cares about what happend with O.J.Simson. The roaring 20’s)

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