Although many Black Americans know reparations are without a doubt owed to them and their ancestors, most understand it can likely never happen in the form of fair and equitable reparations for 246 years of slavery and ongoing pain and suffering there after. The main reason being there has been no Congress to date that would pass such a bill nor a president sucker enough to sign such a bill. What is important to pass on however, is pure unadulterated knowledge to all U.S. citizens that they may truly understand the level of hatred, abuse, and injustices continuously inflicted on African Americans and why many Black people will never be able to rest with so called effective programs and benefits that are not exclusively allocated to the growth and prosperity of African American ancestors of African slaves.
One such bit of knowledge long forgotten are the details of “The Kissing Case.” In 1958, James Hanover Thompson and his friend David Simpson — both African-American, both children — were accused of kissing a girl who was white. They were arrested, and taken to jail. Prosecutors sought a stiff penalty — living in reform school until they were 21.
NPR Staff has the story “The Kissing Case and the lives it shattered,” The Kissing Case as it came to be known, drew international media attention to Monroe, N.C., at the time. But since then, it’s been largely forgotten. Even the Thompson family rarely talked about it. Recently, James Hanover Thompson sat down with his younger brother, Dwight, and told him what happened.
“We were playing with some friends over in the white neighborhood, chasing spiders and wrestling and stuff like that,” James says.
“One of the little kids suggested that one of the little white girls give us a kiss on the jaw,” he says. “The little girl gave me a peck on the cheek, and then she kissed David on the cheek. So, we didn’t think nothing of it. We were just little kids.”
But the little girl mentioned the kiss back home, and her parents were furious; the police set out in search of the boys.
“The police car pulled up, and they said, ‘We’re taking y’all to jail,'” James says. “I didn’t know what was going on. But when we got down to the police station, we understand that they said that we had raped a little white girl.”
The two boys — James, 9, and David, 7 — were charged with molestation. And their punishment started immediately. Continue reading or listen to the story on “NPR- ‘The Kissing Case’ And The Lives It Shattered”