Saturday, 20 February 2016

Justice for Johnnie Mae

In the ditch at the end of the day
A black lady looked for her wallet.
Inside was all of her weekly pay,
This mother of ten named Johnnie Mae.

As a loud shot rang out, she was hit.
An ambulance marked "colored" was hailed.
Her husband held her hand for a bit,
Yet despite his pleas, her heart soon quit.

At the church, as her small children wailed
Murdered Johnnie Mae was laid to rest.
But five months went by with no one jailed
In old Jacksonville, justice had failed.

"Four white men killed her" detectives say.
But the sheriff freed them anyway.
Ten grown children continue to pray
All seeking justice for Johnnie Mae.

Linda Jonasson, March 10, 2008.

Based on the murder of Johnnie Mae Chappell in Jacksonville, Florida on March 23, 1964.  For more information visit

Photo of Shelton Chappell, just an infant in 1964, holding photo of his father and his deceased mother courtesy

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