This Day in History

July 25, 1946: Moore’s Ford Bridge Lynching

Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: African American, Racism & Racial Identity

On July 25, 1946, two young African American couples were lynched near the Moore’s Ford Bridge 60 miles east of Atlanta, Georgia. George W. Dorsey (a veteran of WWII), Mae Murray Dorsey, Roger, and Dorothy Malcom (seven months pregnant) were accosted by a mob of white men as they headed to their home.

As documentary filmmaker Keith Beauchamp explains,

Roger Malcom had been imprisoned in Walton County for stabbing his white employer. After a week in jail, Malcom’s wife, his brother-in-law, and his wife accompanied a prominent white farmer, Loy Harrison, to bail him out. What they didn’t realize was that this was a set-up to lynch Malcom.

Moore's Ford Bridge | Zinn Education Project

Burial of one of the four Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching victims. Source: Georgia State University Library and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At the funeral, an African American man told a journalist from The Chicago Defender: “They’re exterminating us. They’re killing Negro veterans and we don’t have nothing to fight back with except our bare hands.” [Read about Black veterans killed in fight for democracy in the United States.]

The case received national attention, however the murderers were never brought to justice.

African Americans march near the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., to protest the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching in 1946. Source: Library of Congress.

Learn more from the New Georgia Encyclopedia, BlackPast, and the book Fire in a Canebrake by Laura Wexler. Also read “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror” from the Equal Justice Initiative.

Below is a documentary about the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching by filmmaker Keith Beauchamp. 

Murder In Black and White: Moore’s Ford from JaffaFilms on Vimeo.