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HEROES OF the
Civil rights movement

Nat Turner

Nat Turner was an enslaved Black man and preacher from Virginia. He led the largest and most effective rebellion of enslaved people in US history when he and seven others launched a deadly campaign in August 1831 against his owner and others in the town of Jerusalem.

In two days and nights about 60 white people were killed and fear ripped through the white South.

The campaign of terror was to be short-lived, partly because only 75 other enslaved people rallied to Turner’s side but also because the white-controlled system was determined not to let them win. Local white militias were supported by 3,000 troops in putting down the rebellion. Turner managed to escape but six weeks later was captured and hanged.

Vengeance was harsh, with oppressive legislation enacted prohibiting the education, movement, and assembly of enslaved people.