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In June 1951, Matt Ingram was arrested and accused of “reckless eyeballing” (improperly looking at a white person with sexual intent). He was one of the last Black Americans to be convicted under the Jim Crow law. Ingram was a Black sharecropper living in Yanceyville, North Carolina. He was married with nine children.
The alleged crime occurred when Ingram went to his white neighbor to see if he could borrow his truck. The neighbor’s seventeen-year-old daughter Willa Jean Boswell was present along with other siblings. Ingram left the home when he recognized that their father was not home. Bosewell testified in court that Ingram frightened her when he looked at her from about seventy-five feet away. The accusations had the small North Carolina community in an uproar. Prosecutors demanded that Ingram be charged and convicted of assault with intent to rape. The charge was later reduced to an assault on a female by the judge.Continue reading “Matthew “Mack” Ingram: Convicted Of “Reckless Eyeballing” In 1951”