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February 10, 2022

Congresswoman Bourdeaux Introduces Resolution Condemning Forsyth County Racial Cleansing, Honoring Displaced Black Americans

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) introduced a resolution condemning the atrocities in Forsyth County in 1912 when a white supremacist mob terrorized and drove out 1,100 Black Americans from their homes and land. The resolution honors the lives lost and displaced and calls for a national day of remembrance for all victims of forced migrations of Black Americans in United States’ history.

Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux said, “The events that occurred in Forsyth County in 1912 were nothing short of a violent racial cleansing conducted by a white supremacist mob. During Black History Month especially, the truth of the 1,100 displaced Black Americans from our community and the three men lynched must be recognized by Congress. It is our responsibility to right the wrongs of our past and reaffirm our commitment to fighting white supremacy. This resolution is one step towards justice and reconciliation for our North Georgia communities and one way we can elevate the truth of our region’s past.” 

Background: The resolution recognizes the lives of three men, Rob Edwards, Ernest Knox, and Oscar Daniel, who were denied due process and publicly murdered in 1912 Forsyth County, as well as the over 1,100 Black people who were driven from their homes by white supremacist mobs in the ensuing weeks and months. In the aftermath of their deaths, white men dubbed “night riders” terrorized families and burned down the churches, homes, and businesses of the Forsyth County Black community. The horrific incidents drove out Black residents from their homes and land in Forsyth for nearly a century.

In drafting this resolution, Rep. Bourdeaux worked with Stanford University Professor, Dr. Patrick Phillips, who authored Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America, a non-fiction book that investigates the 1912 racial conflict of Forsyth County, Georgia. The resolution is endorsed by the United Ebony Society of Gwinnett and is co-sponsored by Reps. Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Lucy McBath (GA-06), and David Scott (GA-13). 

You can read the resolution here.

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Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux lives with her family in Suwanee, Georgia, and represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the 117th Congress. Carolyn is a strong advocate for affordable health care, and economic recovery that puts workers and small businesses first, and investing in her district’s world-class public education system and transportation infrastructure. 

Georgia’s fast-changing 7th Congressional District includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including portions of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties and cities Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Sugar Hill, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Snellville, Lilburn, Suwanee, Grayson, and Buford