Race and Place Newspapers

The Reflector

Newspaper Information
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Date of Publication: June 09, 1934 (Tuesday)
Frequency: weekly
Article Transcripts

Page 01

Column 01
The Negro in the Southern Courts

Transcript of Article

A Negro robbed another Negro at the point of a gun not so long ago and the local judge passed a life sentence upon the offender with no recommendation for a pardon. Charlottesville Negroes heartily endorse the decision handed down and well-thinking Negroes throughout the South would welcome any "tightening down" on the Negro criminal in cases where all concerned are Negroes.

As "The Reflector" has previously pointed out, the police record of ten large Southern cities showed an alarming increase in Negro crime, crime committed by Negroes against other Negroes, for the years 1932-33. The records in those Southern cities are easily explained. Negro law-breakers are dealt with too lightly when there are all Negroes involved. Actual cases in some of the cities having the large percentage of crime amoung Negroes are interesting.

"A Negro fortune-teller swindled a small church out of $700, which was considered grand larceny. After doing several card tricks for the judge, and a tap dance, this fortune teller was dismissed and admonished to be more careful."

"One Negro seriously wounded another; his motive and evidence presented amounted to murder in the first degree. His sentence was six months imprisonment and a fine."

Rape cases carried a five or ten dollar fine although in some states the statutes called for life imprisonment or death. Of course this includes cases where the crime involves only Negroes.

No one needs to wonder then, why crime, among Negroes, is on the increase in those ten cities, after reading a few police reports and criminal court cases. Indifferent judges must learn that crime, no matter against whom it is committed, is punishable as the law prescribes, and that the color of those involved should, not by any means, be a determining factor. Crime challenges the efficiency of our established code of morals.

Summary of Article
An article that points out the disturbing leniancy Southern courts show to Negro criminals who's crimes are perpetrated against other blacks.

Column 03
The John Stratton Benefit Dance

Transcript of Article

Readers of this issue of "The Reflector" will notice an announcement concerning the John Stratton Benefit Dance, to be held next Thursday, June 14th.

This entertainment, to be staged at the Odd Fellows Hall, will represent an effort, on the part of Sampson's Happy Pals, to assist a former member of their orchestra in the securing of medical attention that has been advised for him.

Stratton as Charlottesville knows, was the little man "behind the drums", in Sampson's Happy Pals. Several months ago, he became ill and has been confined to his bed ever since. In these economically topsy-turvy times, when even well men find the going tough, it is not difficult to understand why it is a worthwhile movement, on the part of the orchestra to provide their former orchestra member with financial assistance.

The intentions of the band are commendable, but unless the public catches the spirit and supports this movement, these intentions will amount to very little in a material way. Negro citizens of Charlottesville should keep this fact in mind and make arrangements to help make his movement a succesful one because such a splendid display of brotherhood on the part of these ten musicians should be encouraged.

Summary of Article
An advertisment for a benefit concert to help John Stratton, a Charlottesville resident who became suddenly ill and was confined to his bed, unable to work and support his family.

Page 02

Column 01
Jefferson School Notes

Transcript of Article

Class Night excercies were held in the assembly room of Jefferson High School, last Thursday evening at eight o'clock. The program, which was very intersting and entertaining, began promptly on schedule time. Many prozes were presented to the graduates who had maintained high averages. They were as follows: The Omega Fraternity donated a prize for the ranking student in English. This was won by Miss Elizabeth Harris, who was valedictorian of her class. She also won the mathematics prize offered by the local Insurance organization; the prize for having maintained the highest average during her four years in high school, offered by the Progressive Club and a one hundred and sixty dollar scholarship to Hampton Institute. Miss Helen Lightfoot was presented a prize for having maintained the hightest average in deportment. There were many eligible as far as deportment was concerned, but Miss Lightfoot maintained the highhest in deportment and scholarship combined. This prize was offered by the Thalian Art and Literary Club. Miss Fannie Johnson, who has been self-supporting, during her high school career, was awarded the prize, by the Alpha Kappa Alpah Sorority, for being the most deserving student.

Commencement exercises were held at Mount Zion Bapist Church last Friday night. The Class and the Glee Chorus furnished the music. Speakers of the evening were Miss Helen Lightfoot, the salutatorian of the class, who gave the Welcome Address; Miss Estelle Seay, who spoke a poem, "Thanatopsis", Nature's teachings about death; Mr. John A. Jackson, Jr., who delivered an address on "Education for Life" and Miss Elizabeth Harris, the valedictorian, who delivered an address on the motto, "We Have Crossed the River; the Ocean Lies Beyond." A large crowd attended the exercises.

On Wednesday, promptly at 3:30, the graduation exercises of the Grammar School were held. This program was also very interesting and enjoyed by all. A promising group, comprising six young people, was awarded diplomas by Dr. James G. Johnson, the Superintendent.

Honor Roll for May

SENIOR CLASS: Elizabeth Harris, Gracie Burley, Horace Porter, Helen Lightfoot, Adell Martin, Edna Newman and Estelle Seay.

JUNIOR CLASS: Anguila Paige, Ester Tucker.

SOPHOMORE CLASS: Edward McCreary, James Gault, Mary Taylor, Charlie Henry, Ella Washington.

FRESHMAN CLASS: Fannie Mae Barbour, Herman Johnson, Evelyn Lightfoot, Laura Lockett, Lillian Watson, Edna Terrell, Charles McCreary, Eva Powell, Janet Watson, Lucille Watson and Viola Price.

SEVENTH GRADE: Mr. J.M. Edgar, Instructor: Marjorie Tyree, Thelma Henderson, Gerald Sampson, Geraldine Gofney and Rosamond Bell.

Summary of Article
An update on recent activities at Jefferson School focusing on the "Class Night" award ceremony honoring accomplished students.

Page 04

Column 01
Open Forum

Transcript of Article

Dear Editor:

This morning I read an account in a Washington paper about a man who brutally assaulted two elderly women, sisters I believe. Scanning the paper further, I noticed that police were looking for a father who brutally beat his little nine months old daughter and even attempted to murder her. It seems that on every page of the newspaper there is an account of ruthless murder, kidnapping, rape, lynching, stealing, bribing and many other types of crime. Whither are we headed?

I haven't been here for these many years, but I have learned from reading compiled facts and by word of mouth, handed down, that once upon a time, there was at least a plausible motive for crime even if it were an evil motive. There was a time when criminals or even petty offenders were in a class by themselves, but now one may expect a "Jesse James" or "Gerald Chapman" to spring up from anywhere.

Once upon a time a child always looked to his parents for protection and guidance. No one dared insult daughter by word or deed; the son secretly desired to become a strong, brave man like "dad". Now, often "dad" is sister's seducer, and mothers and fathers have been known to ruthlessly murder, torture, and mistreat children. Not only those who are able to protect themselves to a certain extent, but also those little innocent chaps, who are not even old enough to comprehend the reason for such. Often, there is no reason except that the devil is the tormentor.

I am not unmindful of the fact that times have changed and the modern inventions have created many idle hands to do mischief. Nor am I unmindful of the fact that vice started almost with the advent of man. The shocking thing about the whole business is that once upon a time, one read about it and now when one goes to the corner store, he has no assurance that he will return. Indeed, whither are we headed? The only assurance one has is God, the only safe place in his heaven.

Henry Lowring

Richmond, Va.

Summary of Article
A letter to the editor that details the authors perception that there was a rise in crimes commited without apparent motive and begs the question "whither are we headed."

Column 02
You (Poem)

Transcript of Article

You are the fellow that has to decide
Whether you'll do it, or toss it aside.
You are the fellow who makes up your mind,
Whether you'll try for the goal that's afar
Or be contented to stay where you are.
Take it or leave it. Here's somethi ng to do!
Just think in [sic] over. It's all up to you.

What do you wish? To be known as a shirk,
Known as a good man who's willing to work,
Scorned for a loafer or praised by your Chief,
Rich man or poor man or begger or thief.
Eager or earnest, or dull through the day,
Honest or crooked? It' s you who must say.
You must decide in the face of the test
Whether you'll shirk, or give it your best.

Nobody here will compel you to rise;
No one will force you to open your eyes,
No one will answer for you, yes or no,
Whether to stay there or whether to go.
Life is a game, but its You who must say,
Whether as cheat or as sportsman you'll p lay.
Faith may betray you, but you settle first
Whether to live to your best or your worst.

So whatever it is you are wanted to be,
Remember, to fashion the choice, you are free.
Kindly or selfish, or gentle or strong,
Keeping the right way or taking the wrong,
Careless of honor or guarding your pride,
All these are questions whic h you must decide.
Yours the selection, whichever you do;
The thing men call Character's all up to You.

Summary of Article
A poem about the ability to define one's own character and goals.

Column 03
Summer (Poem)

Transcript of Article

The culmination of the Spring's buds, fairy breezes, lengthening days, warmer nights, direct sun rays and God's goodness to man we call summer.

In it the fruits and flowers reach the acme of perfection, the sun with its glorious warmth radiates joy and animation, all animal life in the superb variety of its form and habits seem ot praise the Maker. Man, the most wonderful creation of all is resplendent in summer garments, and sallies forth with a zest and exuberance of spirits that are infectious. As one looks about and meditates, the thoughts reach beyond the ken of human vision, beyond the stars into the vast unknown and one tries to picture the everlasting summer of the city foursquare.

Mrs. Rebecca J. Hailstalk

Summary of Article
Lyrical prose that celebrate the season which is the "culmination...of God's goodness to man."

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