"A white man's county" racial violence, vigilante terrorism, and black flight in Forsyth county, Georgia
Carroll, Paloma Maria
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This thesis examines the nightriding campaign in 1912 that led Forsyth County, Georgia to become an all-white county. Following a series of catalytic events including the rape and murder of a young white woman and a mass lynching, a group of white residents terrorized Forsyth’s black community, forcing them to leave the county. By unraveling the social, economic, and racial tensions at play, it becomes clearer why the white yeomen and tenant farmers of Forsyth desired to expel the black inhabitants and keep them out in the following decades. Though similar nightriding campaigns occurred in other neighboring counties, Forsyth’s was the most enduring due to the failure of local police and white elites to end the lawless vigilantism. This thesis also examines the effects of this expulsion on the hundreds of black families forced to flee, and the ramifications of this racial cleansing on Forsyth County throughout the twentieth century.