Add Listing
  • You have no bookmark.

Your Wishlist : 0 listings

Sign In

Exploitation of the Muse Brothers – African American Albinos

Brothers kidnapped and forced to perform in a circus.

Talk to any person of color over age 60 in my part of Virginia and they know the story by heart: Black children reared during the postwar baby boom rarely left home without being admonished by their mothers, “Y’all stay together now or you might be kidnapped, just like Eko and Iko.”
Eko and Iko were the sideshow stage names of George and Willie Muse, the grandsons of former slaves. They were born at the turn of the century to parents who sharecropped tobacco, like everyone else in the rural enclave of Truevine, Virginia.

George and Willie were just six and nine, as the elders tell the story, when a circus promoter crept onto the tobacco field where they were working and enticed them with a rare piece of candy. In the time it took to fetch a hoe from the shed, the boys vanished.

They were kidnapped in a dusty corner of southern Virginia named for the only thing that gave these Reconstruction-era blacks any semblance of hope—the biblical promise of a better life in the hereafter. “I am the true vine, and My father is the vinedresser,” Jesus said in the Gospel of John. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

For the next 13 years, their mother, Harriett, watched and worried. And she waited for signs of fruit.

They were easy pickings for a traveling circus. The brothers were African-American albinos with watery blue eyes and blond hair, and their vision was poor, the result of an oscillating eye condition routinely misinterpreted as a mental deficiency.

Read More of their story here:

Prev Post
Fultz Sisters, The First African American Identical Quadruplets
Next Post
The Black Female Battalion That Stood Up to White Male Army

Add Comment

Your email is safe with us.