Sophie Kloppenburg; Posey County
Mount Vernon, Indiana — Sophie Kloppenburg stepped up to a lectern, said her name and without uttering another word, she received a standing ovation.
What did the 17-year-old do to deserve such respect in Posey County, Indiana? She rectified an injustice, 144 years in the making.
In 1878, after a rape allegation, seven Black men were lynched and four of them were hanged directly outside the county courthouse they never got to set foot in. It was the largest lynching in state history. Yet the whole incident had been largely forgotten — until Kloppenburg heard about it.
BY STEVE HARTMAN