Digital library
Digital library

Triggs, Clarence (1942-1966)

Clarence Triggs was slain by nightriders in Bogalusa, Louisiana, on July

30, 1966.

Bom in 1942, Triggs had just moved to Bogalusa from Jackson, Mississippi, with his wife Emma. He had served in the armed forces and was working as a bricklayer. Triggs had never been active in the civil rights movement, but when he came to Bogalusa and saw that it was still a Jim Crow town, he joined civU rights marches and attended meetings organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). It was believed that Bogalusa had more Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members per capita than any other region in the South during the mid-1960s. Triggs was one of the many blacks in the area who supported the movement for equality, yet he was never considered a leader in the movement; in fact, few people knew who he was in Bogalusa. Less than a month after marching at a civU rights demonstration, Triggs was found dead on the side of the road with a bullet wound in his head.

Believing that the police were covering up Triggs’ murder—especially since his wife was not allowed to identify her husband’s body at the scene—civU rights leaders organized nightly marches until someone was arrested. Two days later, the police arrested two white men, Homer Richard Seale and John W. Copling, Jr., and charged them with murder. Seale was never tried for this crime and a jury deliberated for less than an hour before finding Copling innocent. The motive for the deadly attack was never released and the death of Clarence Triggs remains a mystery.

Further Reading: “CivU Rights Memorial.” See Http://www. tolerance. org/ memorial/memorial. swf

Paulina X. Ruf

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Literatura: Encyclopedia of American Race Riots