Survivor of 1955 racially motivated shooting dies at 71
Tatum — The final survivor of a racially motivated shooting that shook Northeast Texas in 1955 died Friday at the age of 71, her granddaughter said.
Joyce Faye Nelson-Crockett was just 13 the night her cousin, John Earl Reese, 16, was gunned down at a cafe frequented by black residents in Tatum. The two white suspects were not brought to justice until the case gained statewide attention and Texas Rangers took over the investigation.
The deadly shooting, on Oct. 23, 1955, occurred five months after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a plan for desegregating the nation’s public schools and almost eight years before Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which will be celebrated today with 50th anniversary events in Washington, D.C.
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