On this dayJul 13, 1929

White Mob Forces 200 Black People Out of North Platte, Nebraska

Columbus Telegram

On July 13, 1929, a white mob drove more than 200 Black residents out of North Platte, Nebraska. The mob targeted the entire Black community with violence after a Black man was accused of killing a local white police officer.

The day before, two white police officers responded to a call at the North Platte home of a Black man named Louis "Slim" Seeman. When Mr. Seeman allegedly shot and killed one of the officers, a mob of white men and police descended on his home and trapped him inside of a chicken coop on the property. The mob then doused the coop with gasoline and set it ablaze with Mr. Seeman inside; when his body was pulled from the wreckage, it was clear he had died from a gunshot wound—either by his own hand or fired by a member of the mob.

Even after Mr. Seeman had been killed, the large gathering of white men remained enraged at the bold violation of racial hierarchy represented by a Black man taking the life of a white man. Determined to punish the entire Black community, 500 angry white citizens wielding sticks and ropes demanded that all local Black people leave the city. Facing the threat of deadly violence, and terrified after seeing Mr. Seeman's fate, North Platte’s 200 Black residents departed that night by foot, train, and automobile, leaving behind most of their possessions.

A county sheriff later commented, “It was the understanding when they left that they were to stay away. The idea is to keep them out.”

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