The Congo: Black Hoods in the Square

It was a bright and sunny morning, and a great crowd had gathered on the grassy expanse of Leopoldville's Grand Place. Small boys were perched in trees to get a better view, and teen-agers jammed the roof of the nearby African culture center. In the center of the square, cordoned off by police, stood a makeshift scaffold. A red circle had been painted in the middle of its collapsible wooden platform. A strong, rough rope hung down from the crossbar above. A row of open coffins, trimmed with gold and lined with white sheets, lay waiting on the ground...

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