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The Scottsboro Boys: A look back

MARCH 20, 1931, Alabama, USA --- Fearing a mob lynching, Alabama Governor B.M. Miller called the National Guard to the Scottsboro jail to protect the young black men who are accused of raping two white women. From left to right, the accused are: Clarence Norris, Olen Montgomery, Andy Wright, Willie Roberson, Ozie Powell, Eugene Williams, Charlie Weems, Roy Wright, and Haywood Patterson. | Location: Scottsboro, Alabama, USA. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

The Scottsboro Boys: The case that helped spur the modern civil rights movement

Alabama granted posthumous pardons on Thursday to three of the Scottsboro Boys, a group of black teenagers whose fight against false charges that they raped two white women in 1931 helped spur the modern civil rights movement.

The three men exonerated by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles - Charles Weems, Andy Wright and Haywood Patterson - were among nine youths accused of gang-raping the two women aboard a freight train in Alabama, and convicted by all-white juries in the town of Scottsboro. (REUTERS)