« Revisionist History

Mr. Hollowell Didn’t Like That


Arrested, arraigned, indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced to die in the electric chair in 24 hours.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode contains material that maybe upsetting to some listeners. This law school on the first Friday, June. Nineteen sixty on the following Monday. I want to work for Donno little Hallowell, who was the ultimate silver its lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time, Vernon Jordan, one of the great figures in the american Civil rights movement talking about his mental, and I want to work for him well school, but thirty, five dollars a week. And there were no other jobs at the local government level, county state or federal couldn't even take them borrow your car said John Marshall University, because George ALARM, quiet education be separate in segregated.
Swallowed were going to my first day at work. I was in their land municipal cord, helping him get demonstrate. It from the landing University of system how the jail. My name is Malcolm Gladwell you're listening to revision is history, my podcast about things overlooked and misunderstood. This episode picks up with a pretty one left off with a story of an extraordinary man named Donald Hell. Hollow Oliver died in two thousand and four, but I wish she was still alive. Because he has so much to teach us like how do you keep going when all seems lost how'd you behave how'd. You conduct yourself,
if you're one of the leaders of a losing cause and for most of his life Hallowell fought uphill. How do you prepare those behind you for the day when you might succeed, but did he look like hollow big guy? Every guy played quarterback had Lain College Vernon. Jordan is a big guys well imposing charismatic I mention that only because it's not a trivial fact, the two of them Jordan and Hollow well would drive around Georgia from one end of the state to the next two towns and courtrooms where a black Laura was not just an anomaly but a provocation. If you were five foot too little squeaky voice, it didn't work. I would just like to thank them. Let the university and around the university sufficiently fair minded to want
washed. All these old grainy video tapes of Hallowell in the Auburn Avenue library in Atlanta and I became fixated on his hands which would rise and fall as he talked. They were enormous in it segregated buses there'd, be a list, sign on the back of his seat. With a white section ended, he would say colored directing black people to their place. Sometimes when no one was looking, Hallowell would unclear pit and stick in his coat pocket mess things up a bit until the bus driver noticed or some White lady got hysterical, because she inadvertently sat in a seat still warm from the presence of a black person. Holloway was subversive in his own way, but also formal,
proper these to say he talked like the Black Shakespeare Hallowell, once paused in the middle of a trial to instruct the court on the correct pronunciation of negro, not niggro your honor negro. Another time he was up against two district attorney's in court and the moment he got up to speak the white judge so in his chair with his back to Hallowell, so he would not have to suffer the indignity of gazing upon a black man. What did Hallowell do just kept talking and Walking in those slow, formal tones until I was the judge, you look like a fool. I did all driving and we get to a town and so a principle school teacher, local doktor, somebody's gotta
independent as where you spend the night. I slept men and I will follow you know it in the same bed. It better be. Dared to fewer, but there were no big beds in her ever know. Kings admin. But no no, it was Hallowell was, real hero. In the early morning of November fifth, nineteen, fifty three, a woman Betty, Jo Bishop calls. The Atlanta police department in hysterics in her car is the badly beaten corpse of her boyfriend. Marvin Lindsey. She tells the police. The two of them had been attacked when they were parked on a secure,
rode on Atlantis outside it's a sensational case. In fact, it was written up in one of those pulp crime magazines that were so popular back then official, detective stories March. Nineteen. Fifty four issue wanted the man in the pyramid hat. I can't do justice to the spirit and pop journalism, so we're gonna reenact some scenes from the article starting with this decision of the moment. Betty Joe Bishop meets Atlantis Chief of Detectives, Glyn Cowan November Moon spoke. Let you begin by telling us your name: Bishop, MRS Bandage Outpatient, Bishop, You were with Marvin Lindsey tonight, yes, tell me what happened. Bishop tells a detective, about driving to Jonesboro Road.
Wrongly there a few minutes. When this man came out of the woods it was terrible. He struck me with Marvin defined him up. Then he walked. The car and hit Marvin with something heavy Marvin pleaded for hinders doll, but what she covered her face with her hands and broke into long racking. Sobs Cowan waited patiently until she recovered her composure. What happened then? He asked what happened man. After you got tired of hearing Marv and he ran into the woods room with lime, half in half out of the car, so I walked around the driver, said Anne Madame LA across the sea was bleeding something awful. So I knew he was hurt bad. I drove to us. And player village and told his
the job. Where did happen and John got the car. We drove degrading hospital, but he was too late. And was already dead therein, the police station. She can barely hold it together, she's all beaten up. Her lover is dead. She tells the officer that the assailant had come back after killing Marvin and raped her, maybe detective cow and takes her hand in sympathy. Maybe he waits a few moments to let her collect her thoughts. Then, as the article describes it, he ask searching scribe the assailant, I'm not sure it was very dark and I was scared. He was tall and then I remember that much also when I grabbed one of his hands, I remember it felt kind of bone slowly gently common draws a description out of her
the man was in his late thirties. Early forties about five foot eleven in Wearing a leather jacket dung Greece, a funny kind of hat pyramid shaped, and he was worthy and had dark only hair, the order never comes out and says so explicitly. What, if you're a reader of the Pulp magazine official detective stories in March, one thousand nine hundred and fifty four you know what's worthy means. The killer is black. That's why this is such a sensational case. Betty Jo Bishop is an innocent white widow and she and her boyfriend had been attacked by a mysterious black man. Atlanta's finest immediately got to work They scour the crime scene. The killer had rolled up newspaper, which had apparently left at the scene and its circle to want adds one for edition
Why should a local restaurant the police go to the restaurant? Did it and swarthy man with oily hair answer an ad yesterday for a the owner Strong says yes does remember his name, but remit where's, the man said he used to work at a leap, bowling alleys on Hunter stream. The coat czech girl at early bowling Alley says: oh, that's willing! An eyewitness comes forward. Says he saw. A man knew the crime scene, swarthy wearing a pyramid shaped, had They scour the area around the crime scene stumble on little cottage inside
is thirty: nine year old, Willie NASH, unemployed, handyman swarthy, dark hair. They arrested he confesses. So who do you call if your Willie NASH, things are pretty bleak? What you really want is a white lawyer, because it's one thousand nine hundred and fifty four the jury is going to be all white. The police department is all white. The judge is gonna, be white, Willie NASH knows where the power lies in Atlanta, Georgia, but willing ashes. Poor so is forced to settle for one of the very few black lawyers in town, a man two years out of law, school still wet behind the ears, Donald L, Hallowell. When NASH realises he has no other choice. He breaks down into tears out. Oh cried to Allah. Well, says years later, if I d been Willie NASH under those circumstances,
This was years before Vernon Jordan joined Hollow else firm, but he knew all about the Willy NASH case. Everybody in black Atlanta did that's the case where he held up the latest and is before you, and that was it. Ay said set Hallowell up a few
years ago the Smithsonian interviewed a man named Robert Carter, another legendary black attorney Carter talks about trying schools, segregation cases in the deep south in the nineteen fifties, with Constance Baker, Motley and Thurgood Marshall to utter pioneering black lawyers of that Europe they would be in court up against the local white schools. Superintendent and black people from the community would show up crammed into the balcony, hang on every word. It wasn't that they expected to win because they often didn't they just wanted to see a black person in a position of formal authority over a white person in Mississippi Georgia
or Alabama at the height of Jim Crow? That was history being made every hearing every trial with a black law was public theater during cross examination await witness, might forget his role in the trial and start asking questions of the attorney of Motley, say: Conny Motley, a black woman in nineteen. Fifty something would reprimand the white male witness say my job is to ask the question your job is to respond and everybody with gas. In evening Carter says he would walk through the black neighbourhoods and hear people react in a trial in barbershops and beauty partners. In other words, there were two conversations going on at any given time. There was the legal conversation witness judge lawyers accused. If you were away,
lawyer dealing with the white world. That was the conversation you worried about, but there was a second conversation which was between the black lawyers and the people in the balcony, and if you were an underdog with a limited chance to win at the first conversation, then that second conversation was really important. Donald Hallowell was very good. At the first conversation, the legal one, he was a master at a second. Here's an honest question: how are you supposed to know what to do with your money? Very few of us, are exposed to meaningful advice on how to manage our finances. Even fewer have the means to get professional financial guidance betterment is a platform was built to do something radically to give accessible financial advice. That puts you first, if you're, like most Americans, he's, probably sitting in a savings likely earning you next to nothing.
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For thirty dollars by going to the great courses plus dotcom, Slash Gladwell, that's the great courses plus dot com, Slash Gladwell, the defence of liberty and democracy for African Americans. There's a great documentary about Hallowell made by the Georgia Civil rights scholar. Maurice Daniels, despite will require foot soldiers for equal justice. Daniels does along into with an attorney named Howard, more who worked with hollow well in the nineteen sixties and more talks about arriving early at a hearing into the police shooting of a black teenager to handle things before hollow got there Y got banned, beard, Cannon and went to the court house. There were about three thousand negroes on the steps and I went
to the courthouse, and I will about three thousand or as many as they could get in the balcony upstairs and when I walked in the courtroom. The people upstairs the Black Bee, that aid holler. Whereas all aware that idiot? How I don't know what to do? I don't know I have no idea what else, but do you do They were like hardware how this object in the loudest voice. I can and then people those stairs in the end in the back. This is where they are well, but he saw that collar where, when hollow showed up at the court inquest, he put the police officer on the stand, It shot a seventeen year old boy named Ac Hall. Hollow out, took the officer through his testimony bit by meticulous bit, slowly exposing the officers lies. The cop was in tears by the end.
I've never seen that before. I sense when a lawyer just take complete the control of a witness and buying at witness to his will not was shouting and scream, but with systematic, well structured. Well, plays questions now did Hallowell when a victory for the bereaved families they see. Hall was the officer prosecuted, of course, not it's hard enough to win a conviction against a white cop who shoot a black kid today, let alone in nineteen sixty two in Bibbed County Georgia
This was about the second conversation between Hallowell and the thousands of people on the steps. We are not entirely powerless. I can bind a witness to my will one more case, because there are dozens of them hollow, never stop moving in those years. This one was in nineteen sixty one and this time hollow, I was with the young Vernon Jordan, our client, James failure or black here from New Jersey, arrested, haranguing indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced to die, and the electric chair in twenty four hours, Hallowell and his team go down to the town of reeds. Will Georgia to argue for a new trial. The judge in the case was church,
Debbie, I don't know any Niggers in Mercosur gear here their reputation. On Monday we went, and we tried to case at lunchtime the judge and the white lawyers and the white coat officials when, across the town square to the white, only restaurant and had their lunch hollow well said the king and I want to go. Grocery store on the courthouse square or the Poland and Bologna, loaf of bread, Mustard Coca COLA and a baby Ruth and sat, and Mr Hallowell scar in the parking in a courthouse
an eight hour large who deal on Monday. We did on Tuesday, Wednesday, we'll try my case and a black lady way bid me and I met her and invest view. The courthouse, never forget it and she said lawyer We ve been watching our eat the bologna for two days now she says just have a coca cola and don't eat their bologna today and when the court and which is to return for your drive to my house, the lies, so they go to her house. That's the moment. Jordan remembers fifty years later. That moment of grace and quiet rebellion outside the coroner and we walked in and the table was set for royalty. Her best.
In their best China. Her best crystal the aroma. The southern food was, was almost crippling. It was as a circle how nothin. And her neighbors had common put on ice dresses and their husbands. I cleaned up, and they welcomed us and then we join hands and her husband gave the Greece He said this unforgettable sentence, which was Lord. Down here and tat no county. We can't join the end overlay c p, but thanks to your bountiful blessing, we can the end overlay c p. Lawyers
so Willie NASH, Betty Joe Bishops, swarthy assailant. The case we began when Donald Hollow Wells, trial by fire If you look back on hollows career, it's all there. Every theme in the first case, NASH, has been indicted for murder, rape and robbery. The prosecutor has a murder weapon. A bloody piece of pipe. He has NASH his confession and he has a witness, a black men named Julius Harris who places NASH at the murder scene. Moonlight was shining directly on his face. When I glimpsed him Harris testifies four hollow Ellen NASH. It looks pretty bleak, but then one of the process it is trying to remember Julius Harris's naming can't, and he said in an open courtroom, the eye witness. You know that back nigger
how about jumps out of his seat and almost shouts a negro is as entitled to respect, as any other person judge agrees, declares a mistrial The second trial is two months later. This time. Hallowell has time to prepare. He puts the head of the georgian State Crime lab on the stand and asks. Did you find any blood on the alleged murder weapon demands? is actually he didn't hallway moves on to the police turns out. They have multiple conflicting stories about what happened that night, Willie NASH testifies says his confession was beaten out of him, as for the witness who said he saw NASH, is faced by the light of the Moon holiday points out There was no moon over Atlanta that night finally, Hallowell turns to the alleged victims. Betty Joe Bishop turns out she d second boyfriend who left town right after the murder of her first
boyfriend and when she pulled up to Marvin Lindsays Brothers House with Marvin's dead body in her car, the first thing out of her mouth was. I know you think I did it, but in nigger did it. Finally, Hallowell calls the doktor who examined Bishop right after the alleged rape occurred, and the doctor concedes that he could find no evidence, not bruises or sperm, to indicate that a rape actually occurred. That's when Hollowell holds up an item from police evidence, Betty, Jo Bishops, underwear, Halliwell waves them in front of the jury, one thousand nine hundred and fifty four at Georgia, a black man waves, a white woman's underwear anywhere in front of an all. Why jury now who's at four? Is it for the jury? Of course, he said Betty Joe Bishop is lying through her teeth, but it's really for the audience. He sing enough
you can imagine it up in the balcony. There was a collective intake of breath at that moment, something that could be heard clear across Atlanta and that Night in a thousand homes somebody stood up and played out that scene just like Hollowell to a chorus of disbelief, Willie NASH goes free, but it still not a real victory, because what The real lesson of the false indictment of Willie NASH, that every white person the court room live freely and blatantly the police slide, the witness slide, the victim lied. Press slide? The murder weapon wasn't a murder weapon. The rate was in a rape
and the only reason all the liars got caught? Was they couldn't even be bothered to keep their story straight? It didn't seem worth the effort. I know you think I did it, but a nigger did it's not as if the whole group of them the victim, the police officer, the witness the doktor the got in garden room and worked out an elaborate story to tell court. That would be a conspiracy, but you only need a conspiracy where there is a system to conspire against them. Was no system to conspire against. They were the system. D Nash case wasn't a victory, but it was a warning. Things got worse for the civil rights movement before they got better. The William Ash case was nineteen. Fifty four, the same year, the Supreme Court ruled in the Brown be bored of education decision,
that racial segregation was unconstitutional after Brown came what is known in civil rights. History has massive resistance: the White political power structure, the south rose up and back ash began one by one. Why gum in marriage and senators, who had been at least moderate on racial issues, were replaced by hardline, racists, Alabama had a to the nineteen fifties, big Jim Fulsome, who used to say all men are just like. I don't think he really meant it, but at least he was willing to say it by the early Ninetys sixties Alabama had taken a big step backwards. Their new governor was George Wallis, who famously declared making the mouth and irrigation forever the decade, leading
the nineteen sixty four civil Rights ACT was a dark time and american racial history. We forget this now. Martin Luther king led them Montgomery, busboy caught in nineteen, fifty six, but after that thirty years in the wilderness, when even members of his own community had turned against him and enough one thousand sixty at the lowest ebb king gets arrested He was already on probation for a traffic violation, he'd move from Alabama to Georgia and didn't get a Georgia driver's license within the requisite ninety days for which she had been sentenced to twelve months in public, works Camp, which was the Georgia euphemism for chain gang King got that sentence suspended, but then he got picked up for taking part in a sit in, and the prosecutor said that meant he violated his probation and now he needed to do his twelve months of the chain gang by the
If you think that this has anything to do with driving in Georgia with an album a licence, you're crazy. This is what things had come to in nineteen sixty year rash. May. What other plans do we have in connection with reverent mark Luther kings release. So who does king call for Help Donald L Hollow and, of course, morning after kings arrest, Hallowell stands on the DE called county courthouse steps addressing a group of reporters relief. Of course, this will depend upon whether not the court granted are motion to vacate the order of yesterday. S report fails to release him. Of course, we would take other steps to appeal or two
fact Hallowell is trying to get kings case thrown out, but the problem is the king is no longer in Atlanta he's banished in Maurice Daniels Documentary, Hollows wife. Louise talks about what happened when her husband went to retrieve king from the county jail only be confronted by the warden when he got there. He said I came to get a cleaning out this morning, something like that to that effect and he's ever he ain't here and he said well. What do you mean? He ain't here, He said. Well, they took him away this morning, some then, and they carried him down to state prison and he said that's why he is he ain't here, so you can get it well,
that low end in, like that, I love that line. Mr Hollow L didn't like that Daniels picks up the story with Andrew Young, another of kings inner circle. There was a worse beta. Martin Luther King Life They took him from the De Cow County. Put him lay guns in handcuffs lady mom, flaw in the back of a patty wagon. Would nobody back? There were a pull german shepherd. And they drove him from it allows the reeds, though, as three hundred miles. There were no express ways. It three hundred miles on bad joy arose. Readville the same play Square Jordan and Hallowell ate their bologna, savage in the car. They know the town. Well, the state
in reasonable wasn't a tory ass. It was the kind of place with a use that phrase in quotation marks that somebody got shot trying to escape a where they got beat up by a guard out in the chain gang. When kings followers heard reads Ville, they honestly fear did he was gonna end up dead, but there's not a hint of that in his attorney on the courthouse steps. Learning that Reverend King had been taken through the reach will present. I would say that I and the creative to authorities on last evening
that we were desirous of having Reverend king at this hearing. However, they informed me that they had already transmitted the papers yesterday afternoon to the board of Correction and that it was in their purview to move him when they desire followers composure does not break. Why? Because he's not just talking to those reporters he's talking to the black people of Georgia telling them that it will take more than the abduction of their leader to break the spirit of their movement. We know That is a matter of normal practice. It has several days before a prisoner is moving However, when we call that aid for the purpose of ascertaining the whereabouts of the share for making service, we weren't
on the Reverend King had been taken down to reach veil at four or five. This morning later that day, Hallowell flew to reads bill invited along the national media. The White House was watching hollow, walked into reads veil and walked out with his client. It's a surreal moment. The state of Georgia basically tried to kidnap the nations leading civil rights later this press everywhere, someone puts a camera and Martin Luther king
is everyone's eyes or on him. There's a famous picture of that moment. It ran in all the newspapers, and you can imagine that when people from the movement side, they first look to see whether king was ok and then they asked where's Hallowell. Sure enough very was in the background offered to the left, crisp white shirt. Elegant black boat- I impassive implacable- this is put, gives me hope, Hooker Vernon Joe, and again I went to see him to talk about Hollowell, but more than that, because I wanted to understand what it means to persevere. It's not just at these stories are shocking and extraordinary. It's the sheer weight of them. A white woman
has her boyfriend murdered and then just randomly pins it on a black man who just happens to be in the neighbourhood. A police officer shoot a teenager in the back and get off Scot free. A kid gets, arrested, arraigned indicted, try, convicted and sentenced to die before he can even mount a defence. Unita gets whisked away to a chain gang because it and get his license change within ninety days. You fight an uphill battle all morning in the courtroom. Then you your bologna sandwich in your car, like a fugitive, and it never ends you get in the car and you drive to one end of the state and the judge swindles in his chair and will not offer you the basic courtesy of facing you as you speak. Then you sleep in a bed in a strangers house and do it all again the next day and the next day I dont understand how Donald Hallowell did it
and maybe more importantly, I dont understand how he kept everyone else. The people behind him who didn't have his strength from giving up is there any question more fundamental than that much there is so I went back De Vernon Jordan. Second time after he's told me about nothin Johnson and Willie NASH. I sat in his office in Rockefeller Centre. And he told me one last story: But when he was in high school, the same school Mister, the king went to David Howard, high on Randolph Street and all black school in the black part of town. Jordan was in the band and wondered, principal gets a call from the school superintendent, a white woman, the senator from Georgia. Richard Russell was running for president
he wanted the Deputy Howard high school band, beat pastry and Baker Street to play what these hand me down there summation wise goose is rigid Russell when a pastry street On his way to sixteen hundred Pennsylvania Avenue, Richard Russell was a hard core. Segregationist one of the most powerful men in the Senate, who use his position to block anything even looking like civil rights, a man who is a matter of principle did not think black people should be allowed drink from the same water fountain as white people. This man, one of the black students of Atlanta, to play in his owner principal told the ban massed. The bandmaster told us a ban practice it to thirty. Trombone Clear, named Meno Jackson,
good player named burning, Jordan, said Hale. No, we won't go. Big discussion took place. You and Maynard Jackson- word schooled. Getting here Maynard Jackson in his day was part of the same band. Brothers is Donald Hallowell and Vernon Jordan, Martin Luther king. The big argument to place. And at the end, the trombone playing the trumpet player away the man we raise it, but we gotta go cause every don't go principle in our bandmaster will lose their jobs, so we played a peach tree and Baker Street a rigid, Russell and nineteen it tomorrow. He swallowed your pride it one pride. He was a practical, no decision. Twenty one years later, mainly Jackson, was sworn in? Is maybe lan right, so you got.
Nineteen, fifty one a bad situation and you get twenty one years later, he is condemned then the political symphony of Atlanta, and that's why you can get angry. I get small d at least did. Did you at least play Sadly, now we were too good review for we were ahead of a man. Revisionist histories do by mere Labelle Jacob Psmith with Camille Baptista Stephanie, annual and Seal Mara Martinez. Why are editor? Is Julia Barton flown This is our engineer original music by Luis Kara special thanks to our actors, Jody Marco and can marks
and to any Bowers and Jacob Weisberger, patently I'm not hungry, Angela tenth twenty fifteen, a young woman named Sandra Bland, was stopped by a police officer on a highway and rural Texas. Then everything went wrong. I've written a book called talking to strangers. It starts with that encounter, but I didn't just right for the page I recorded an audio book as well new kind of audio book that allows you to hear the voices of the people. I talk to and come with me to the places I go because
you shouldn't just listen to an audio book. You should experience it talking to strangers the audio experience available now, where ever audio books or sold.
Transcript generated on 2020-01-12.