Tuesday, March 15, 2022

I Do Not Claim This Guy Was Typical

 I mean (he was a mass murderer, which alone makes him unusual), but read the description of his income and ask yourself, is the image a Texas black man in 1938 that popular portrayals give you?

Hawkins, Tex. (1938)

07/13/1938: “[A] 40-year-old negro landholder who drew royalty checks from East Texas oil property suddenly went beserk” and shot to death his wife, and two unrelated men.  He also wounded the former postmaster of the town.  The murder died when a storekeeper shot him.

Category: public

Suicide: no

Cause: unknown

Weapon: firearm[1]


  1. 'went berserk'? I used to read old pulp westerns, stories from the 20s and 30s. Black men fairly commonly went berserk in these stories, if I recall correctly. I was a kid 40-50 years ago so my memory may not be exact. But I wonder if this terminology wasn't applied to blacks frequently. Have you noticed any trends in how people are described?

    1. All sorts of people often unidentified by race and thus likely white, are described as berserk.