- Film Screening and Discussion
- Sunday, October 16, 2016 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
- Mitchell Center for African American Heritage – Wilmington
In partnership with the Light Up the Queen Foundation, the Delaware Historical Society presents You Belong to Me: Sex, Race and Murder in the South. This event is free and open to the public; doors open at 1:30 pm. Meet the film maker and stay for a panel discussion of the film’s core issues, hosted by the Center for African American Heritage.
This documentary (running time: 88 minutes) is a compelling recounting of the true story of a murder case that occurred in a small Florida town in 1952. A well-known and respected mother of three walked into the office of an influential local doctor and shot him four times at close range. This mother was a black woman, and the doctor was white.
On Sunday, August 3, 1952, in Live Oak, Florida, at 11:34 am, Mrs. Ruby McCollum shot State Senator-elect Dr. C. L. Adams, firing her .32-caliber revolver four times, before going home and warming a bottle of milk for her baby daughter.
What began as a bizarre murder case quickly turned a bright light on the rotting underbelly of the old South. Ruby McCollum was the wealthiest black woman in Suwannee County, Florida. Her husband, Sam, ran the local numbers racket, owned several farms and sat on the board of Florida’s largest black life insurance company. They were church-going, upstanding members of the community. Their eldest son had been accepted to UCLA. Murdering the most powerful white man in town over a doctor’s bill would seem the least likely crime she might commit. Was Ruby insane, or was the killing of Dr. Adams the last sane act of a woman whose wealth and status could not protect her from the blind indifference and humiliations of the Jim Crow South? The Judge in her case refused to allow her to be interviewed by reporters, including the famed writers Zora Neale Hurston and William Bradford Huie. Her testimony proved so explosive, the local paper refused to print it. Her case has haunted jurors, prosecutors and the town of Live Oak for decades.
You Belong to Me rips the veil off hidden practices, exposing the truth of what it meant to be an African American woman in the Jim Crow South.
Reservations requested at (302) 655-7161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mitchell Center for African American Heritage
- 504 N. Market Street
Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage was named in honor of two Delawareans who worked tirelessly for civil rights for the disenfranchised. The Mitchell Center collects, preserves and presents for public enrichment the history and heritage of Delaware’s African Americans. Using historical objects, museum exhibitions, education programs and research, the Mitchell Center is Delaware’s first central repository dedicated to the preservation and presentation of the state’s African American history, heritage and culture.
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