|Lena Baker's arrest photo|
Lena Baker. She had the misfortune of being a Negro, an unnumbered victim of collateral damage, even though she never fought in an official war. Her war was private. Her war, like all African Americans living in the early South, was a civil rights war. Baker's conflict was a human war of trying to survive in an extreme state of segregation, racism and discrimination in the United States of America, her natural place of birth, June 8, 1901.
As a child Baker and her family worked as cotton pickers for a farmer named J. A. Cox. By age 20 Baker and a friend discovered they could earn some easy money by entertaining me. She and her friend turned to prostitution.
"This came to the attention of Randolph County Sheriff as their clientele were White and interracial relations were illegal in Georgia. The two were arrested and spend several months in a workhouse. On release she was ostracized by the Black community, leading her to become and alcoholic". (murdrpedia.org)
Roosevelt Curry, grand-nephew to Lena Baker, was quoted in a AJC.com story, June 2011: "The townspeople didn't talk about her and some members of the Black community and her family were scared to even mention her name. Relatives and members of the church, however, later care for it and placed a small marker there", Curry sad of Baker's unmarked grave.
"What happened to her is historical and we don't people to forget. A lot of people have never heard of Lena Baker".
|In the Lena Baker story Tichina Arnold plays the role of Lena|
Baker’s trial lasted less than a full day. Four hours to be exact. In a half hour or less the verdict of guilty was delivered by the all-White male jury. Worrill sentenced Baker to death in the electric chair, better known as “Old Sparky."
Baker’s last words were, “What I done, I did in self-defense, or I would have been killed myself . . . I am already to meet my God".
|Roosevelt Curry, great-nephew to Lena Baker hold the posthumous pardon. Standing behind him is 10-year-old Treonna McElveen.|