The Case of Jim Parker
Now that the Czolgosz
case is over, the public is inquiring as to what has become of Jim
Parker—Jim Parker, colored—Jim Parker, the athlete.
One of the most prominent features
connected with the late tragedy in Buffalo was the forwardness of
this colored man. Republican newspapers devoted columns to his achievements;
children of abolition strain felt that all prophecies about the
coming high type of Ethiopian had been fulfilled; people with prejudices
to maintain asked Jim to the clubs, he exchanged his coat buttons
for ten-dollar bills, and poured into the ear of Senator Hanna the
valuable description for which Africa is so famous. Colored people
took up the sensation, and churches and social gatherings of the
race extolled the heroism of the mighty Parker.
When the roll of witnesses was called
in the Buffalo courtroom the “hero’s” name was not there. When the
witnesses on the stand were questioned, they had no knowledge of
the gallant colored man. In fact, he was not in it at any stage
of the game. White men claimed all the credit, and only the names
of white men were remembered. Was this a conspiracy on the part
of the white people of Buffalo against the colored man, or had they
been slickly duped by “the colored citizen from the south,” who
had not forgotten the arts of flattery by which he extracted chance
dimes from his white neighbors?
The only sure-enough thing about Jim
is that he registers from Atlanta.