Because of their stand, many of the parents lost their jobs, their homes and the ability to receive credit at local stores. The [Brumit DeLaine] home burned to the ground under mysterious circumstances, as local firefighters watched, saying it was not in their jurisdiction because it lay just outside the city limits. DeLaine received frequent death threats, and after the AME church reassigned him to neighboring Florence County, the troubles escalated.
Three days before the incident, DeLaine received a letter telling him if he did not leave the area, he would meet the same fate as the "Negrow postmaster" in 1896, a reference to a case in which the postmaster and his young son were burned to death. At a rally by the White Citizens Council across from the DeLaine home, a speaker described the minister with a racial slur and said that DeLaine "started the desegregation mess in Summerton and . . . lives right across the street."
For DeLaine's two sons, J.A. Jr. and Brumit, the ceremony brought a measure of satisfaction and closure. But they regretted, they said, that neither their father nor their mother, Mattie, who died in December, lived long enough to witness the vindication.
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