Lynching is when a mob of people gather in one place to hang a person is a general idea. However, lynching is just an execution of an accused person by a mob (Lynching). A lynching could happen for many reasons including severe crimes like murder or theft, simple custom violations, or to make a simple example to strike fear into the “other” population. According to the article, “Lynching in America,” over 4,000 African Americans were lynched between 1877-1950. Though majority of the African Americans lynched were men, there were some women that were lynched, too. Lynching has become illegal within the United States today, but it was a difficult time coming to the end of “legal” lynching. This essay discusses how several factors led to the
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
Pfeifer, Michael J. (2004). Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society: 1874-1947. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Retrieved October 30, 2006 from . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_County_War.
Wells build a new strategy for gaining justice by going to England, and she met with important people in there. She also build an anti-lynching organization. And in two decades, there were no lynching happen in Memphis. Wells settling in Chicago and kept writing, especially about sexism and racism. Wells married with the founder of the first black newspaper in the Chicago, and they had children. As she had her family to take care of, she had a divided duty and could not only focus on her writing. She found and build new organization of colored people (NAACP) based on lynching strategy.
In her Fire in a Canebrake, Laura Wexler describes an important event in mid-twentieth century American race relations, long ago relegated to the closet of American consciousness. In so doing, Wexler not only skillfully describes the event—the Moore’s Ford lynching of 1946—but incorporates it into our understanding of the present world and past by retaining the complexities of doubt and deception that surrounded the event when it occurred, and which still confound it in historical records. By skillfully navigating these currents of deceit, too, Wexler is not only able to portray them to the reader in full form, but also historicize this muddled record in the context of certain larger historical truths. In this fashion, and by refusing to cede to a desire for closure by drawing easy but inherently flawed conclusions regarding the individuals directly responsible for the 1946 lynching, Wexler demonstrates that she is more interested in a larger historical picture than the single event to which she dedicates her text. And, in so doing, she rebukes the doubts of those who question the importance of “bringing up” the lynching, lending powerful motivation and purpose to her writing that sustains her narrative, and the audience’s attention to it.
Wells, Ida B. Southern Horrors. Lynch Law in All Its Phase. New York: New York Age Print, 1892. Print. 6.
Interestingly, the book does not focus solely on the Georgia lynching, but delves into the actual study of the word lynching which was coined by legendary judge Charles B Lynch of Virginia to indicate extra-legal justice meted out to those in the frontier where the rule of law was largely absent. In fact, Wexler continues to analyse how the term lynching began to be used to describe mob violence in the 19th century, when the victim was deemed to have been guilty before being tried by due process in a court of law.
Emancipated blacks, after the Civil War, continued to live in fear of lynching, a practice of vigilantism that was often based on false accusations. Lynching was not only a way for southern white men to exert racist “justice,” it was also a means of keeping women, white and black, under the control of a violent white male ideology. In response to the injustices of lynching, the anti-lynching movement was established—a campaign in which women played a key role. Ida B. Wells, a black teacher and journalist was at the forefront and early development of this movement. In 1892 Wells was one of the first news reporters to bring the truths of lynching to proper media attention. Her first articles appeared in The Free Speech and Headlight, a Memphis newspaper that she co-edited. She urged the black townspeople of Memphis to move west and to resist the coercive violence of lynching.  Her early articles were collected in Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases, a widely distributed pamphlet that exposed the innocence of many victims of lynching and attacked the leaders of white southern communities for allowing such atrocities.  In 1895 Wells published a larger investigative report, A Red Record, which exposed how false or contrived accusations of rape accompanied less than one third of the cases documented around 1892.  The statistics and literature of A Red Record denounced the dominant white male ideology behind lynching – the thought that white womanhood was in need of protection against black men. Wells challenged this notion as a concealed racist agenda that functioned to keep white men in power over blacks as well as white women. Jacqueline Jones Royster documents the...
Lynching was considered a proper punishment for an African- American men convicted of raping white women. Ida B. wells-Barnett, an African-American journalist, raise the issue against lynching. Ida stated in her speech “what the white man means when he charges black man with rape, Does he mean the crime which the statutes of the states describe as such, not by any means,”(A red Record) as lynching was not a state or Government law, rather a punishement for Negros by the mob . Mobs would not give the black victims to make a lawfull defense. Even though there were no complain by the white women of being raped, mobs would decide to punish African- American men. Negros have already suffered more than hundred years of slavery, they are no more guilty of this type of horrible charges., they do not deserve this at all, Ida B. Wells described.Negros were condidered a vile monster by the mob. Ida provides a statistical data of how many men were lynched during late nineteenth century in her article. She protest anit-lynching campaign and was
It is surprising to note that white men were caught stealing, but what followed was the arrest and jailing of the colored. Many blacks were jailed for false vindications of raping white women. This is a clear indication that conflict over race negatively contributed to the emergence of lynching in the New South. Additionally, the author of the excerpt argues that she thought that lynching was unjustified, but the truth dawned on her when Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell, and Henry Stewart were lynched in Memphis, one of the cities in the south, yet they were innocent. It is important to state that gender contributed significantly to the lynching cases in the South. The many cases of rape that were reported made many Negro men lose their lives. Although abuse cases were many, the way they were reported differed from the reality, “…the big burly was lynched because he had raped the seven-year-old daughter of the Sheriff.” (Wells, 355). Afterward, it was realized “…and saw a girl who was a grown woman more than seventeen years old.” (Wells, 355) The
...hite woman therefore many false accusations were placed upon him an African American. His action was first seen as an insult then as a form of attack toward the white women and as members of the white social class began to increase causing a mob the accusations led to the beliefs of rape. Consequently, a common practice in the south during the late 1800’s to middle 1900’s was taken about. Throughout 1883 and 1905 lynching was a common widespread practice mainly in the south (Foner, 522). Lynching is described as “a practice in which people (usually black) accused of a crime were murdered by mobs before standard trials (Foner, A-82).” Unfortunately, lynching in the south only needed one accusation or form of misunderstanding for an innocent to get murdered by a mob.
Between 1882 and 1952 Mississippi was the home to 534 reported lynchings’ more than any other state in the nation (Mills, 1992, p. 18). Jim Crow Laws or ‘Black Codes’ allowed for the legalization of racism and enforced a ‘black way’ of life. Throughout the deep-south, especially in rural communities segr...
Four black sharecroppers (Roger Malcom, Dorothy Malcom, George Dorsey and Mae Murray Dorsey) are brutally murdered by a group of white people. The murders attracted national attention, but the community was not willing to get involved. The community was not fazed by these brutal murders but, by the fact that this incident got national attention. They were even more astounded that the rest of the nation even cared. In this book Laura Wexler shows just how deep racism goes. After reading the book I discovered that Fire in a Canebrake has three major themes involving racism. The first is that racism obstructs progression. The second is history repeats itself. The last theme is that racism can obscure the truth. This lynching, in particular, marks a turning point in the history of race relations and the governments’ involvement in civil rights. In the end this case still remains unsolved. No concept of the
The incident, now known as The Lynching at the Curve, was the spark which shifted her career into investigative journalism. She went on to investigate the cause of lynchings throughout the country, despite the great risk it made to her life. In that same year, she published a pamphlet titled, Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. In 1894, she published a more detailed continuation of her studies in a pamphlet titled, A Red Record, 1892–1894. Both pamphlets were key in disproving the major accepted and given reasons for lynching, which were that black men were raping white women. Wells found that the majority of the relationships were consensual and unveiled a system of sexualized racism in the South (Schechter). In reaction to her anti-lynching writings, several threats were made to her life if she was to ever return to Memphis. Shortly after, her newspaper office in Memphis was destroyed (Jim Crow Stories, PBS).