By Tom Eblen
When Lexington author Joseph G. Anthony set out to write a novel about racism and violence during the Jim Crow era, he didn’t look for a setting in the Deep South. He didn’t need to.
All many people know about Lexington history is a few tidbits about horses, bourbon, Belle Brezing and Henry Clay. Cheapside’s role as a major slave market before the Civil War didn’t get much attention until last year, when the statues of Confederate generals John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge were moved to Lexington Cemetery.
Few people have heard of R.C.O. Benjamin, a black lawyer and journalist who was gunned down in a Lexington street in 1900 after trying to register black men to vote. They also don’t know about the lynch mob of several thousand people that stormed the old Fayette County Courthouse in 1920 with deadly results.