Search results for: american-lynching

American Lynching

Author : Ashraf H. A. Rushdy
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A history of lynching in America over the course of three centuries, from colonial Virginia to twentieth-century Texas. After observing the varying reactions to the 1998 death of James Byrd Jr. in Texas, called a lynching by some, denied by others, Ashraf Rushdy determined that to comprehend this event he needed to understand the long history of lynching in the United States. In this meticulously researched and accessibly written interpretive history, Rushdy shows how lynching in America has endured, evolved, and changed in meaning over the course of three centuries, from its origins in early Virginia to the present day. “A work of uncommon breadth, written with equally uncommon concision. Excellent.” —N. D. B. Connolly, Johns Hopkins University “Provocative but careful, opinionated but persuasive . . . Beyond synthesizing current scholarship, he offers a cogent discussion of the evolving definition of lynching, the place of lynchers in civil society, and the slow-in-coming end of lynching. This book should be the point of entry for anyone interested in the tragic and sordid history of American lynching.” —W. Fitzhugh Brundage, author of Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930 “A sophisticated and thought-provoking examination of the historical relationship between the American culture of lynching and the nation’s political traditions. This engaging and wide-ranging meditation on the connection between democracy, lynching, freedom, and slavery will be of interest to those in and outside of the academy.” —William Carrigan, Rowan University “In this sobering account, Rushdy makes clear that the cultural values that authorize racial violence are woven into the very essence of what it means to be American. This book helps us make sense of our past as well as our present.” —Jonathan Holloway, Yale University

The End of American Lynching

Author : Ashraf H. A. Rushdy
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The End of American Lynching questions how we think about the dynamics of lynching, what lynchings mean to the society in which they occur, how lynching is defined, and the circumstances that lead to lynching. Ashraf H. A. Rushdy looks at three lynchings over the course of the twentieth century—one in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, in 1911, one in Marion, Indiana, in 1930, and one in Jasper, Texas, in 1998—to see how Americans developed two distinct ways of thinking and talking about this act before and after the 1930s. One way takes seriously the legal and moral concept of complicity as a way to understand the dynamics of a lynching; this way of thinking can give us new perceptions into the meaning of mobs and the lynching photographs in which we find them. Another way, which developed in the 1940s and continues to influence us today, uses a strategy of denial to claim that lynchings have ended. Rushdy examines how the denial of lynching emerged and developed, providing insight into how and why we talk about lynching the way we do at the dawn of the twenty-first century. In doing so, he forces us to confront our responsibilities as American citizens and as human beings.

American Literature Lynching and the Spectator in the Crowd

Author : Debbie Lelekis
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This book examines spectatorship in texts by Theodore Dreiser, Miriam Michelson, Irvin S. Cobb, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. As a figure who is simultaneously within and outside the crowd, the spectator is in a unique position to express the fractures between the individual and the collective in American society.

Lynching in America

Author : Christopher Waldrep
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"Ranging from personal correspondence to courtroom transcripts to journalistic accounts, Christopher Waldrep has extensively mined an enormous quantity of documents about lynching, which he arranges chronologically with concise introductions. He reveals that lynching has been part of American history since the Revolution, but its victims, perpetrators, causes, and environments have changed over time. From the American Revolution to the expansion of the western frontier, Waldrep shows how communities defended lynching as a way to maintain law and order."--Publisher description.

The Roots of Rough Justice

Author : Michael J. Pfeifer
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In this deeply researched prequel to his 2006 study Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874–1947, Michael J. Pfeifer analyzes the foundations of lynching in American social history. Scrutinizing the vigilante movements and lynching violence that occurred in the middle decades of the nineteenth century on the Southern, Midwestern, and far Western frontiers, The Roots of Rough Justice: Origins of American Lynching offers new insights into collective violence in the pre-Civil War era. Pfeifer examines the antecedents of American lynching in an early modern Anglo-European folk and legal heritage. He addresses the transformation of ideas and practices of social ordering, law, and collective violence in the American colonies, the early American Republic, and especially the decades before and immediately after the American Civil War. His trenchant and concise analysis anchors the first book to consider the crucial emergence of the practice of lynching of slaves in antebellum America. Pfeifer also leads the way in analyzing the history of American lynching in a global context, from the early modern British Atlantic to the legal status of collective violence in contemporary Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Seamlessly melding source material with apt historical examples, The Roots of Rough Justice tackles the emergence of not only the rhetoric surrounding lynching, but its practice and ideology. Arguing that the origins of lynching cannot be restricted to any particular region, Pfeifer shows how the national and transatlantic context is essential for understanding how whites used mob violence to enforce the racial and class hierarchies across the United States.

African Americans Confront Lynching

Author : Christopher Waldrep
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This book examines African Americans' strategies for resisting white racial violence from the Civil War until the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 and up to the Clinton era. Christopher Waldrep's semi-biographical approach to the pioneers in the anti-lynching campaign portrays African Americans as active participants in the effort to end racial violence rather than as passive victims. In telling this more than 100-year-old story of violence and resistance, Waldrep describes how white Americans legitimized racial violence after the Civil War, and how black journalists campaigned against the violence by invoking the Constitution and the law as a source of rights. He shows how, toward the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, anti-lynching crusaders Ida B. Wells and Monroe Work adopted a more sociological approach, offering statistics and case studies to thwart white claims that a black propensity for crime justified racial violence. Waldrep describes how the NAACP, founded in 1909, represented an organized, even bureaucratic approach to the fight against lynching. Despite these efforts, racial violence continued after World War II, as racists changed tactics, using dynamite more than the rope or the gun. Waldrep concludes by showing how modern day hate crimes continue the lynching tradition, and how the courts and grass-roots groups have continued the tradition of resistance to racial violence. A rich selection of documents helps give the story a sense of immediacy. Sources include nineteenth-century eyewitness accounts of lynching, courtroom testimony of Ku Klux Klan victims, South Carolina senator Ben Tillman's 1907 defense of lynching, and the text of the first federal hate crimes law.

Living with Lynching

Author : Koritha Mitchell
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Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890–1930 demonstrates that popular lynching plays were mechanisms through which African American communities survived actual and photographic mob violence. Often available in periodicals, lynching plays were read aloud or acted out by black church members, schoolchildren, and families. Koritha Mitchell shows that African Americans performed and read the scripts in community settings to certify to each other that lynch victims were not the isolated brutes that dominant discourses made them out to be. Instead, the play scripts often described victims as honorable heads of household being torn from model domestic units by white violence. In closely analyzing the political and spiritual uses of black theatre during the Progressive Era, Mitchell demonstrates that audiences were shown affective ties in black families, a subject often erased in mainstream images of African Americans. Examining lynching plays as archival texts that embody and reflect broad networks of sociocultural activism and exchange in the lives of black Americans, Mitchell finds that audiences were rehearsing and improvising new ways of enduring in the face of widespread racial terrorism. Images of the black soldier, lawyer, mother, and wife helped readers assure each other that they were upstanding individuals who deserved the right to participate in national culture and politics. These powerful community coping efforts helped African Americans band together and withstand the nation's rejection of them as viable citizens.

Lynching

Author : Robert W. Thurston
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Addressing one of the most controversial and emotive issues of American history, this book presents a thorough reexamination of the background, dynamics, and decline of American lynching. It argues that collective homicide in the US can only be partly understood through a discussion of the unsettled southern political situation after 1865, but must also be seen in the context of a global conversation about changing cultural meanings of 'race'. A deeper comprehension of the course of mob murder and the dynamics that drove it emerges through comparing the situation in the US with violence that was and still is happening around the world. Drawing on a variety of approaches - historical, anthropological and literary - the study shows how concepts of imperialism, gender, sexuality, and civilization profoundly affected the course of mob murder in the US. Lynching provides thought-provoking analyses of cases where race was - and was not - a factor. The book is constructed as a series of case studies grouped into three thematic sections. Part I, Understanding Lynching, starts with accounts of mob murder around the world. Part II, Lynching and Cultural Change, examines shifting concepts of race, gender, and sexuality by drawing first on the romantic travel and adventure fiction of the era 1880-1920, from authors such as H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Changing images of black and white bodies form another major focus of this section. Part III, Blood, Debate, and Redemption in Georgia, follows the story of American collective murder and growing opposition to it in Georgia, a key site of lynching, in the early twentieth century. By situating American mob murder in a wide international context, and viewing the phenomenon as more than simply a tool of racial control, this book presents a reappraisal of one of the most unpleasant, yet important periods of America's history, one that remains crucial for understanding race relations and collective violence around the world.

Global Lynching and Collective Violence

Author : Michael J. Pfeifer
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In this second volume of the groundbreaking survey, Michael J. Pfeifer edits a collection of essays that illuminates lynching and other extrajudicial "rough justice" as a transnational phenomenon responding to cultural and legal issues. The volume's European-themed topics explore why three communities of medieval people turned to mob violence, and the ways exclusion from formal institutions fueled peasant rough justice in Russia. Essays on Latin America examine how lynching in the United States influenced Brazilian debates on race and informal justice, and how shifts in religious and political power drove lynching in twentieth century Mexico. Finally, scholars delve into English Canadians' use of racist and mob violence to craft identity; the Communist Party's Depression-era campaign against lynching in the United States; and the transnational links that helped form--and later emanated from--Wisconsin's notoriously violent skinhead movement in the late twentieth century. Contributors: Brent M. S. Campney, Amy Chazkel, Stephen P. Frank, Dean J. Kotlowski, Michael J. Pfeifer, Gema Santamaría, Ryan Shaffer, and Hannah Skoda.

Lynching Photographs

Author : Dora Apel
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Presents an analysis of lynching photographs, covering their history, meanings, uses, and displays.

Why Is the Negro Lynched An African American Heritage Book

Author : Frederick Douglass
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"Experience has taught us that it is sometimes wise and necessary to have more than two witnesses to bring out the whole truth. Especially is this the case where one of such witnesses has a powerful motive for suppressing or distorting the facts, as in this case. I therefore insist upon my right to take the witness stand and give my version of this Southern question, and though it shall widely differ from that of both the North and South, I shall submit the same to the candid judgment of all who hear me in full confidence that it will be received as true, by honest men and women of both sections of this Republic." -- Frederick Douglass

Lynching Beyond Dixie

Author : Michael J. Pfeifer
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In recent decades, scholars have explored much of the history of mob violence in the American South, especially in the years after Reconstruction. However, the lynching violence that occurred in American regions outside the South, where hundreds of persons, including Hispanics, whites, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans died at the hands of lynch mobs, has received less attention. This collection of essays by prominent and rising scholars fills this gap by illuminating the factors that distinguished lynching in the West, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic. The volume adds to a more comprehensive history of American lynching and will be of interest to all readers interested in the history of violence across the varied regions of the United States. Contributors are Jack S. Blocker Jr., Brent M. S. Campney, William D. Carrigan, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, Dennis B. Downey, Larry R. Gerlach, Kimberley Mangun, Helen McLure, Michael J. Pfeifer, Christopher Waldrep, Clive Webb, and Dena Lynn Winslow.

Lynchings and Other American Pastimes

Author : Orlando Warren
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The pastimes referred to are even more than what has happened, and still happens, to people of African descent in our country. Our American Pastimes are the remnants of our collective American past, especially when it comes to acts of violence against the helpless whether the helpless are the so called Other by group designation, or morphs into the Other because of differing world views. And, of course, there are those who become the Other because the perpetrator, be it stranger or family member, has never felt any other way. The legacy of the damaged is to continue what they know best. Lynchings and Other American Pastimes attempts to answer, through its stories - by and about people of color - the question of whether America can and will purge itself of its legacy of racial hate, which has been passed down from generation to generation. It is not meant to address only those who call themselves black, but people of differing hues, differing economic and political designations, who are all too similar when it comes to the damage - the havoc - that our pastimes reek on ourselves and most on those we love.

Eradicating this Evil

Author : Mary Jane Brown
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First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Liberalizing Lynching

Author : Daniel Kato
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This study explores the relationship between the American liberal regime and the illiberal act of lynching. It explores the federal government's pattern of non-intervention regarding the lynchings of African Americans from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Although popular belief holds that the federal government was unable to address racial violence in the South, Kato argues that its actions and decisions show that federal inaction was not primarily a consequence of institutional or legal incapacities, but rather a decision supported and maintained by all three branches of the federal government.

Strange Fruit

Author : Kathy A. Perkins
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"These lynching dramas may not present the picture that America wants to see of itself, but these visions cannot be ignored because they are grounded—not only in the truth of white racism's toxic effect on our national existence but also in the truth that there exists a contesting, collective response that is part of an on-going and continually building momentum." —Theaatre Journal "A unique, powerful collection worthy of high school and college classroom assignment and discussion." —Bookwatch This anthology is the first to address the impact of lynching on U.S. theater and culture. By focusing on women's unique view of lynching, this collection of plays reveals a social history of interracial cooperation between black and white women and an artistic tradition that continues to evolve through the work of African American women artists. Included are plays spanning the period 1916 to 1994 from playwrights such as Angelina Weld Grimke, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Lillian Smith, and Michon Boston.

African American Political Thought

Author : Melvin L. Rogers
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African American Political Thought offers an unprecedented philosophical history of thinkers from the African American community and African diaspora who have addressed the central issues of political life: democracy, race, violence, liberation, solidarity, and mass political action. Melvin L. Rogers and Jack Turner have brought together leading scholars to reflect on individual intellectuals from the past four centuries, developing their list with an expansive approach to political expression. The collected essays consider such figures as Martin Delany, Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Audre Lorde, whose works are addressed by scholars such as Farah Jasmin Griffin, Robert Gooding-Williams, Michael Dawson, Nick Bromell, Neil Roberts, and Lawrie Balfour. While African American political thought is inextricable from the historical movement of American political thought, this volume stresses the individuality of Black thinkers, the transnational and diasporic consciousness, and how individual speakers and writers draw on various traditions simultaneously to broaden our conception of African American political ideas. This landmark volume gives us the opportunity to tap into the myriad and nuanced political theories central to Black life. In doing so, African American Political Thought: A Collected History transforms how we understand the past and future of political thinking in the West.

Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties

Author : Paul Finkelman
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Originally published in 2006, the Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties, is a comprehensive 3 volume set covering a broad range of topics in the subject of American Civil Liberties. The book covers the topic from numerous different areas including freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly and petition. The Encyclopedia also addresses areas such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, slavery, censorship, crime and war. The book’s multidisciplinary approach will make it an ideal library reference resource for lawyers, scholars and students.

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

Author : James H. Cone
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A landmark in the conversation about race and religion in America. "They put him to death by hanging him on a tree." Acts 10:39 The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk. Both the cross and the lynching tree represent the worst in human beings and at the same time a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning. While the lynching tree symbolized white power and "black death," the cross symbolizes divine power and "black life" God overcoming the power of sin and death. For African Americans, the image of Jesus, hung on a tree to die, powerfully grounded their faith that God was with them, even in the suffering of the lynching era. In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues; the passion and of Emmet Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.; he invokes the spirits of Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ida B. Well, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. And he remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology to explain how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.

Race Rape and Lynching

Author : Sandra Gunning
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Gunning investigates the literary strategies used by nineteenth-century writers to represent the conditions, processes, and consequences of white-on-black violence.