Lot 10355: Charles Wilbert White, African-American Social Realist Artist, 1918-1979, black and white lithograph, " The Trenton Six", 9" x 12 1/...
December 13, 2016
Chadds Ford, PA, USALive Auction
Description: Charles Wilbert White, African-American Social Realist Artist, 1918-1979, black and white lithograph, " The Trenton Six", 9" x 12 1/2", not signed, with mark of UOPWA CIO. In 1948 six young men in Trenton, New Jersey, were tried, convicted and sentenced to death for the alleged hold-up and murder of a storekeeper. The conviction was obtained through methods long familiar to the Negro people, namely intimidated witnesses, fabricated evidence, forced confessions which the defendants were not allowed to repudiate in court, the stifling of evidence that would have disproved the prosecution''s case, and the raising of a racist hue and cry against the Negro people as a whole. Fortunately , the obscurity in which the prosecution tried to keep the case was blown away. After a protracted struggle, during which this drawing was done, a retrial was won. Four of the defendants were eventually freed, while two remained in jail, to "save the face" of the prosecutor, one dying there. The drawing shows, symbolically, the six defendants, and the sister of one of them, Mrs. Bessie Mitchell, who had fought from the start to bring the light of truth and public knowledge upon this typical example of "legal lynching."