"E" is for Earle, Willie, Lynching of

Feb 19, 2021

Credit SC Public Radio

"E" is for Earle, Willie, lynching of (February 17, 1947). The murder of Willie Earle is believed to be the last racial lynching in South Carolina. Earle, a twenty-six year old African American male was arrested for the robbery and stabbing of a white Greenville taxi driver. A mob abducted Earle from his jail cell in Pickens and drove to the outskirts of Greenville where they lynched him and abused his corpse. Officials at the state and federal levels were quick to condemn the lynching and to pursue Earleā€™s murderers. The trial of the accused murderers in Greenville attracted national attention. The all-white male jury found the accused not guilty. The most significant legacy of the Earle case stiffened the resolve of black South Carolinians and stimulated national efforts on behalf of civil rights.