Laurence Jones was about to die. He was going to be lynched and burned. Would his family ever recover? Had he really taken his dream too far? Was there any way out of this?
Klan members circled him. One gathered debris to make a bonfire. The noose went over Jones’ head and was tightened around his neck. Then, one of the terrorists spoke.
“Since you like to preach and stir up trouble, why don’t you give us a sermon before you die?” Jones was wide-eyed. Was this man serious?
Before being beaten and dragged away, Jones had been raising money for his dream to build a school for Black children at a local Black church. He had preached about the importance of better education.
Would these words about his dream truly be his last?
Jones gulped and gave his speech to the terrorists, touting education as a way to improve Black workers in the area and to increase local profits. Education improved the ENTIRE community, he argued, by increasing income and the number of businesses.
Then something incredible happened.
The white mob released him - and collected a donation for Jones’ school and pledged support!
Piney Woods Country Life school still exists today, as one of the oldest Black schools in the U.S. Like Jones, we can never allow the threat of death to dash our dreams.