Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Ruby McCollum (1952)
In 1952, Live Oak, Florida, Ruby McCollum was tried at the Suwanee County Courthouse for the murder of Dr. C. LeRoy Adams. As an African-American woman, McCollum was discriminated against and was held accountable for the death of Adams. Adams was a white physician, also the father of McCollum’s youngest child. Once sentenced to death for motives of “dispute over a medical bill,” McCollum never faced her sentence, as she was admitted to a mental hospital. In this case, not only the horrendous accusations (with no incriminating evidence) of killing her husband led McCollum to insanity, but also the pressures imposed upon her for her race. Being a black woman, she was treated with a greater deal of skepticism that proved to be too much for her to handle. In a time where black acceptance was a major issue, her case was exemplary of the time period.