The Legacy of Lynching in the South

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Lynching: the mob murder of someone who might be considered a public offender. While white Southerners may have considered themselves vigilantes, in reality they were killers with biased intent. In the Southern United States during the 1960s, lynching occurred frequently relative to standards such as today. Though lynching changed the lives of people directly connected to victims, they also changed mindsets and actions where they occurred and around the nation. Thus, the motives of racial based lynching and the crimes themselves affected people, legislature, and culture in the South for years to come.
Part of the aftermath of lynching in the South was the psychological consequences on the rabbles involved. The entire culture of African Americans is marked by lynching because the root reason of why white mobs lynched Southern African Americans was skin pigmentation. This means the blacks were lynched based on ignorant intolerance; however, the supposed basis for the white southerners’ hatred is internalized by every black person in their skin color. In the words of Lee H. Butler, Jr., “Unlike a single traumatic event that has been experienced by one person, lynching is a trauma that has marked an entire culture and several generations because it spanned more than eight decades.”
Specifically realizing the psychological effects of lynching on African Americans and those African Americans who have had family members lynched is important. The mental impact for family members of a lynching victim is life altering. Often being responsible for the retrieval of the body, families saw the representation of white hatred for them and their family member embodied in their corpse (Lee H. Butler). More than 2,805 families have endured this at...

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...ching changed the South and the people of the South, but accepting the truth and moving forward with history in mind is the way towards racial understanding.

Works Cited

Anti-Lynching Bill. 2014. 27 April 2014 .
Braziel, Jana Evans. History of Lynching in the United States. 2013. 27 April 2014 .
Everet, Dianna. Lynching. 2013. 29 April 2014 .
Lee H. Butler, Jr. Lynching: A Post-Traumatic Stressor in a Protracted-Traumatic World. 2012. 27 April 2014 .
Zangrando, Robert L., John F Callahan and Dickson D Bruce. About Lynching. 2013. 16 April 2014 .

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