Amy Yates (8) was a sweet, popular girl in the trailer park where she lived in Carrolton, Georgia. On the late afternoon of April 26th, 2004, she asked her parents permission to ride her bike to a house in the neighborhood to deliver some invitations to her birthday party. But she never came back.
After 7 pm, her mother went out looking for her and some neighbors and kids started helping. Soon, her bike was found parked between two empty trailers. It was then when police got involved, and found her three hours later. Amy was dead, lying in a ditch, with heavy bruising in her chest and neck which indicated she’d been strangled. Her pants were unzipped, but she hadn’t been sexually assaulted.
Police focused their attention on the boys of the trailer park, particularly in one called Johnathon Adams, a friend of Amy’s that was 12 years old at the time and had a reputation for being a troublemaker. They took him to the station and started interrogating him without his parents or a lawyer present, and after a while, Johnathon told him he had accidentally killed Amy while playing with her in the woods. His story didn’t really match the crime scene: he said they’d been running and he had bumped into Amy, pushing her accidentally in the ditch. But despite that, and the fact he recanted his confession once his parents were allowed to talk to him, police charged him with Amy’s murder.
Johnathon was convicted of the crime and because he was only 12 years old and at the time the maximum penalty for kids under 13 was two years, he was sent to a juvenile detention and later to a rehabilitation center. The short sentence enraged Amy’s parents, who pushed for the creation of a law that would allow courts to extend the sentence of children convicted of murder until 21 years old.
And then, a twist. In 2006, Chris Gossett, another friend of Amy’s that lived in the house she was going to visit the day she was murdered, confessed to killing her. Chris had been 16 when Amy was attacked, and he was known in the area as a “gentle giant”: he was 6′5′’, but was mentally disabled. He confessed he had taken Amy to the woods to have sex with her, and that’s why he had unzipped her pants, but hadn’t done anything beyond that. He gave police a few other details that matched the crime scene, but they refused to take him seriously. A psychiatrist that evaluated him said it wasn’t possible for him to remember details from two years prior and they thought he had just created a story according to what he had heard around.
Eventually, the DA decided to bring both boys to a grand jury with all their evidence and let them make a decision. They ended up exonerating Johnathon and charging Chris with manslaughter, but those charges were later dropped, leaving this case unsolved.
Do you know of any lists of POC actors/actresses in period films, please? Thank you.
A masterlist of 240+ POC who have starred in period and fantasy roles categorized by ethnicity and gender. Their roles as well as their ethnicity are clearly denoted; if there are any mistakes or wish to make additions please politely message us! LIKE/REBLOG if this was helpful! -C&The Other M
For this week’s episode of the New York Public Library Podcast, we highlight discussions presented by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on two documentaries about icons Maya Angelou and John Lewis. To talk about American Masters - And Still I Rise, a film about the Pulitzer-nominated Dr. Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, Director of Creativity and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation; Rita Coburn Whack, co-director and co-producer of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise; Louis Gossett, Jr., Academy Award-winning actor; and Colin Johnson, Co-Founder and Principal of Caged Bird Legacy joined Director of the Schomburg Center, Kevin Young. Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis is a documentary film about Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon and the winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for March: Book Three. It is discussed by Arva Rice, President and CEO of the New York Urban League; activist and advocate Phil Pierre; and Ahmad Greene, a core member of the Black Lives Matter Movement. In this week’s episode, we’re proud to present conversation around generations of activism with some of our nation’s most inspiring freedom fighters.
CeCe McDonald, Reina Gossett, and Dean Spade: Prisons Aren’t Safe for Anybody
In 2011, CeCe McDonald and her friends were attacked by a group of white people shouting racist and transphobic slurs. When CeCe stabbed one of their attackers in self defense, she was arrested and imprisoned for 19 months. During that time, CeCe’s evocative and thoughtful writing inspired an international community of activists to support the campaign to Free CeCe and to advance the broader movement for prison abolition. In February 2014, one month after her release from prison, CeCe joined prison abolition activists Reina Gossett and Dean Spade in a conversation about her own experiences surviving trauma and impossible situations, and the importance of love and collective organizing for people facing systems of violence.
This video is part of the series No One is Disposable, which features conversations on trans activism and prison abolition with BCRW activist fellow Reina Gossett.