Brownsville group exalts Elbert Williams as first NAACP martyr

By Thomas Bailey Jr.

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — The knock on their door came just after Elbert and Annie Williams had listened to the radio broadcast of Joe Louis’ TKO of Arturo Godoy in eight rounds at Yankee Stadium.

Arguably, what happened next that Thursday evening of June 20, 1940, should have elevated Elbert Williams as a national icon for bravery, and placed him in the pantheon of martyrs

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