1964: Klan Beating of Roosevelt and Beatrice Cole at the burning of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church

Charles Marsh: Who beat you?

Mr. Cole: I don't know.

Mrs. Cole: Was a gang.

CM: Did they have masks on?

Mrs. C: Some of them had masks on… but the one that made a… [cut/scar] he didn't have no mask.

CM: Were they saying anything to you?

Mr. C: [incomprehensible]… they were going to kick my head in.

Mrs. C: Yeah. They were going to kick his head in.


Mrs. C: …I prayed to God.

CM: What did you pray to God?


Mrs. C: But he drawed back his sword and hit me before then. But after he let me pray. Would he all me to pray. He said if you think it'd do you any damn good you better pray. Well I fell on my knees and started praying to God that he would spare my husband, spare his life… I kept praying and before then, I repeated a hymn. It just fell into my heart. I said Father I stretch my hand to thee, no other help I know. If thy withdraw thy help from me where shall I go? That's what I prayed. But when I said that he stopped. He says, leave him living. They wouldn't tell him to kill him, he said leave him living.

And I went there and lifted him up. And I lifted him up the third time and he just fell back to his knees every time. And finally he stood up and I drug him to where the car was. And I put him in the car. And about that time the crowd just disappeared. But there was the most people there than I had ever seen in my whole life. It seemed like they all come in one great big truck. Big truck. And they all had guns. That was so unexpected to me because I didn't know nothing else but call on God. I didn't feel like nobody else could help me that could do any good but him.

Mr. C: I expect so.

CM: Did anybody ever find those men? Those white men in the gang?

Mrs. C: Nobody looked for them.

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