In 1946, a Melanated navy veteran named James Stephenson accompanied his mother to a radio repair store to pick up her radio. When an argument ensued between his mother and the white employee at the store he stepped in and had a fight with the white employee. Fighting a white man in 1946 infuriated the locals and he and his mother would get arrested.
After paying the small fine and being released the father of the store employee accused Stephenson of assault with an intent to commit murder. The new charges landed him in jail long enough for a white mob to form outside of the Maury County Courthouse. However, at the same time, Melanated men who were ex-military veterans began forming as well. Check out this short documentary about what happened next!