BUFORD, GA — Today, Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) hosted a day of remembrance with descendants of the 1912 Forsyth County racial cleansing at Poplar Hill Baptist Church in Buford, GA. Judge Rodney Harris, Deacon Billy Green, Betty Moss shared their family’s story with the Congresswoman and local officials. Last week, Congresswoman Bourdeaux 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 stories we heard today moved me and were a reminder of how important it is for us to address our past with honesty and transparency. The events that occurred in Forsyth County in 1912 were nothing short of a violent racial cleansing.
“It is our responsibility to shine a light on these wrongs and reaffirm our commitment to fighting for a more just community. 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).
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.