Analysis Of Lynching

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Many years ago, Abel Meeropol famously wrote “Southern trees bear a strange fruit, blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees...” The purpose of this poem was to describe the heinous lynching of African Americans in the south. They would be strung up to a tree and hung in front of crowds of hateful people spewing ignorance with no regard for human life outside of their own race. Sometimes their neighbors and loved ones would be present as well, while they struggled to free themselves and gasp for air before they eventually die. Although lynching is better known as the act of hanging a body up to a tree, there are also other acts that fit into the lynching …show more content…

Lynching could be anything from burning a person while they were still alive, to castration, and body dismemberment. It was a very inhumane way of dying, but it was widely practiced throughout the south after the reconstruction era. Lynching was used as a vehicle to terrorize the African American community into a mind state of inferiority. It essentially set the tone that any wrong move, merited or otherwise could result in the loss of your life. Contrary to popular belief lynching was not born purely out of hatred for black people; it was deeply rooted in fear as well. There was an inherit need for white supremacists to control the Negro physically and mentally if they were going to remain superior. There was also a distinct physiological toll watching lynching took on black people. It may not have been happening to someone directly related to them, but they were all intricately connected through the color of their skin. They were painfully aware that it could just as easily be them or a loved one next. They were painfully aware of the crimes or lack thereof, which could result in their death. These offenses could range from suspicion of rape to the simple disagreement with a white …show more content…

After losing the Civil War their world was in disarray. There was an inherent belief that black people were dangerous, would rape their women, and wreak havoc on their society. White people at that time thought that if they could control the black population, they could keep the south from changing. There fear was that the Negro would rise up and be able to vote, own business, and flourish in general. They needed African Americans to be dependent upon them and they still viewed them as subhuman. White supremacists were not going to accept them as citizen no matter what the law said. If need be they would manipulate the laws to work in their favor or circumvent the law altogether. Fear of blacks began to resonate after the loss of the Civil War. They could no longer legal keep the black population in chains and under submission; therefore they would need to keep them in chains in a metaphorical sense. They implemented Jim Crow laws, but they did not seem to be effective enough for them. They needed a way to physically express their superiority. They needed a way to control the blacks so they would not seek revenge and lynching provided an avenue for them to instill fear into the Negro population, the same fear that held them hostage to their malicious

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the heinous lynching of african americans in the south. they were strung up to a tree and hung in front of crowds of hateful people spewing ignorance.
  • Explains that after the civil war, white supremacists believed that if they could control the black population, they would keep the south from changing. they implemented jim crow laws, but they did not seem effective enough.
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