© Mary DeWitt 2019

Sharon Wiggins, 1951-2013

 

her crime and sentencing

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZZRpMK3J0U

 

background on recording this 3:44 video:

 

Sharon Wiggins was 43 at the time of this 1992 recording.  She recalls her grandmother’s memory of the Ku Klux Klan.  Her grandmother, who raised her,  died when Wiggins was 14. Wiggins was homeless in a Pittsburgh ghetto before she committed her crime at the age of 16. The terror that both Wiggins and her grandmother’s teen-aged brother experienced at similar ages- he at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920’s and Wiggins as a child on the streets alone and on death row in the 1960’s, reveal the continuity of the institution of slavery in the United States- from the Jim Crow south to the New Jim Crow of mass incarceration.