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George H. White & Ida B. Wells

Lynching Index

 

 

Recent Books on Lynching in America

 Sherrilyn A. Hill,  On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twentieth-First Century  (Review)

Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (2000) / 100 Years of Lynching (1996) /

Southern Horrors and Other Writings; The Anti-Lynching Campaign of Ida B. Wells, 1892-1900 (1996)

Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930 (Blacks in the New World) (1993)

Imagery of Lynching: Black Men, White Women, and the Mob (2004)  / At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America (2003)

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Lynching in America—Crucifixion and lynchings are symbols. They are symbols of the power of domination. They are symbols of the destruction of people's humanity. With black people being 12 percent of the US population and nearly 50 percent of the prison population, that's lynching. It's a legal lynching. So, there are a lot of ways to lynch a people than just hanging 'em on the tree. A lynching is trying to control the population. It is striking terror in the population so as to control it. That's what the ghetto does. It crams people into living spaces where they will self destruct, kill each other, fight each other, shoot each other because they have no place to breathe, no place for recreation, no place for an articulation and expression of their humanity. So, it becomes a way, a metaphor for lynching, if lynching is understood and as one group forcing a kind of inhumanity upon another group. James Cone

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Website of photos on Lynching  http://www.withoutsanctuary.org/ 

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Racism: A History, the 2007 BBC 3-part documentary explores the impact of racism on a global scale. It was part of the season of programs on the BBC marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It's divided into 3 parts.

The first, The Colour of Money . . . Racism: A History [2007]—1/3

Begins the series by assessing the implications of the relationship between Europe, Africa and the Americas in the 15th century. It considers how racist ideas and practices developed in key religious and secular institutions, and how they showed up in writings by European philosophers Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.

The second, Fatal Impact . . . Racism: A History [2007] - 2/3

Examines the idea of scientific racism, an ideology invented during the 19th century that drew on now discredited practices such as phrenology and provided an ideological justification for racism and slavery. The episode shows how these theories ultimately led to eugenics and Nazi racial policies of the master race.

And the 3rd, A Savage Legacy . . .  Racism: A History [2007] - 3/3

Examines the impact of racism in the 20th century. By 1900 European colonial expansion had reached deep into the heart of Africa. Under the rule of King Leopold II, the Belgian Congo was turned into a vast rubber plantation. Men, women and children who failed to gather their latex quotas would have their limbs dismembered. The country became the scene of one of the century's greatest racial genocides, as an estimated 10 million Africans perished under colonial rule.

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Table

American Institution of Lynching by Amin Sharif (commentary)

America With Its Pants Down

Amite County by Jack Newfield

Anarcha's Story  by Alexandria C. Lynch, MS III  J Marion Sims

Anti-Lynching Bill from Interracial Review (editorial)

Black Legion American Terrorists  (Commentary by Amin Sharif)

Black Legion -- Doctor Billy    

Black Legion--More Clippins  

Blood Crying from the Ground by Maurice C. Field (poem)

Blood in Their Eyes (review)  

A Blues for the Birmingham Four by Amin Sharif (poem)

Comments on Emmett Till Lynching

The Confessions of the Murderer of Emmett Till (magazine article; letter, commentary)

The Confessions of Walter Cotton

Dred Scott Case

The Elaine, Arkansas Massacre of 1919

The First Waco Horror - The Lynching of Jesse Washington

For the Love of Rebecca 

Freedom Journal on Lynching  

Hitler and the Negro  by  J. A. Rodgers

How Far the Promised Land Review  by Walter White

Indictment of Lynching from Interracial Review (editorial)

Juanita E. Jackson to Join NAACP Staff  (bio-sketch)

Killers of Silas Coleman   

Letter from Eleanor on Lynching by Eleanor Roosevelt 

Lynched Mau Mau Leader Dedan Kimathi (Stephen Millies)

Lynching And Racial Violence: Histories & Legacies  by Peter Rachleff

Lynching By State and Race (statistics)

Lynching of Claude Neal  by Walter White (a report)

Lynching Resolution

Moore v. Dempsey  

Much is Expected

Phillips County Massacre

Racial Absurdity of Mass Arrests on Drug Charges in Tulia, Texas 

Resurrection in Mississippi by Amin Sharif (poem)

Riots & Massacres in the Jim Crow South

R.R. Moton and  The Commission on Interracial Cooperation

Scipio Africanus Jones 

Seems Like Murder Here (book review)

Six Killed in "Bombingham"  from UPI (news release)

Strange Fruit  By Abel Meeropol & Billie Holiday (lyrics)

The Thrill Murder by Anonymous (poem)

[Walter] White: The Biography  by Kenneth Janken (book review)

Walter White on Lynching  by Amy MacKenzie (essay)

Withoutsanctuary  

Youth and the Lynching Evil  by Juanita Jackson

Walter White

The American Institution of Lynching

Editorials on Lynching

How Far the promised Land Review

Letter from Eleanor Roosevelt

Table of Contents

Walter White on Lynching       

Walter White Biography  

Walter White Reviews 

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Lynching of Rubin Stacy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1935

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Related Files

America With Its Pants Down

Amite County

Beginning

Black Labor 

Black Power

Black Power A Critique

Blues Recordings

Confessions of Walter Cotton

DuBois-Malcolm-King Political Action Forum

Excerpt of Apprentice

Fifty Influential Figures

For Lucy Barrow

For Walter Cotton, Outlaw

Killing Fiends & Monsters 

Kish Mir Tuchas     

The Lie That Unraveled the World

Lies Truth and Unwaged Housework

A Lie Unravels the World

Locked up in land of the free

The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells  

Mister Satan's Apprentice (book) 

Much is Expected [on Juanita Jackson] by Elijah Cummings (an address)

Nat Turner Sermon 

Religion and Politics

Scarring . . . Acknowledgments 

Scarring the Black Body Contents 

Scarring the Black Body Reviews

Scarring . . . Coda 

Seems Like Murder Here (book)

A Tribute to Kwame Toure/Stokely Carmichael

Turner-Cone Theology Page 

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The Politics of Federal Anti-lynching Legislation in the New Deal Era

By Isabelle Whelan

In 1933, at the beginning of a period of profound change in the United States, the NAACP launched its new campaign for federal anti-lynching legislation. The country was in the midst of an unprecedented economic catastrophe and a new president apparently committed to the ‘forgotten man’ was in the White House. He headed a newly united national Democratic coalition of urban liberals and rural conservatives from the south and west. Federal anti-lynching legislation had been off the agenda for ten years, since the defeat of a bill introduced by Republican congressman Leonidas Dyer of Missouri in 1922. The Dyer bill, after having passed the Republican-controlled House, was blocked by the threat of a southern filibuster in the Senate. Over the next decade, the GOP made increasing overtures to the south, pushing yet further aside its historical commitment to civil rights. But as the Depression bit, campaigns by the NAACP and southern white liberals against a rise in mob violence helped to bring lynching more to the fore of the nation’s consciousness.

The reformist atmosphere of the New Deal gave hope to black leaders and race liberals that the Roosevelt administration would address the specific needs of African Americans. Individual states had traditionally been allowed to control their own race relations, but as the federal government assumed a greater role in its citizens’ lives during the New Deal, liberal reformers hoped to see this change. Ultimately, though, the New Dealers’ focus always lay with economic recovery. Even when they did consider racial issues, it was within a framework that the “‘Negro problem’ was fundamentally a class problem and treated best by economic reform.”6 For some liberals, this attitude extended even to counteracting mob violence, which they expected would die out as opportunities for both whites and blacks improved.

There were 4,608 victims of lynching in the United States between 1882 and 1932, of whom more than seven in ten were African Americans. From a high of 230 in 1892, the number of victims steadily decreased during the twentieth century, dropping below double figures for the first time in 1932. The next year, the Roosevelt administration’s first year in office, the number of lynchings soared to 28, with the rise possibly aggravated by the economic turmoil of the Depression. Although lynching had occurred in almost every state in the continental United States, during the twentieth century it became an increasingly southern phenomenon, with overwhelmingly African American victims. Until the early 1900s, lynchings were treated as local matters, and even particularly brutal cases barely made headline news. By the 1930s, anti-lynching campaigns had helped make it a more mainstream issue, increasingly commented on by the white press and in magazines such as the Nation and Literary Digest.   

The Duck Hill lynching—at the height of the House anti-lynching debate—made only page 52 of the New York Times, but page one of the African-American paper, the Chicago Defender. A southern-based movement against lynching developed in the decades before the New Deal, as white southern liberals began to address some of the problems facing their region. The Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC) was established in 1919 to promote interracial understanding. One of its main aims was to eliminate lynching.—SAS

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American Justice 1919

This is the Real Dope: Where Did We Go from Here?

Willie Brown, accused of sexually assaulting a white woman, was lynched on 28 September 1919, outside of the Douglas County Courthouse in Omaha, Nebraska. Brown was hanged and shot repeatedly. Brown’s body was dragged behind an automobile through downtown Omaha and, eventually, burned at the intersection of 17th and Dodge Streets.

Rights are so much more effectively destroyed by bullying a citizenry out of wanting to exercise them than any other means.Uruknet

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Settlement Reached in Civil Suit Charging Franklin County, MS Role in 1964 KKK Murders—On Monday, June 21, Franklin County, Mississippi agreed to a settlement in an historic civil suit with the families of Charles Moore and Henry Dee, two 19-year-old Black men who were kidnapped, tortured and murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan on May 2, 1964.

“This is the first time, to my knowledge, that any civil lawsuit against public officials for collaborating with the KKK has reached the point of settlement,” said Margaret Burnham, lead attorney for the family members who brought the suit against Franklin County. Klansman James Ford Seale went to prison in 2007 for his role in the murders; this landmark civil suit addressed the roles of Mississippi government officials in the double murder and subsequent cover-up of what had occurred.Cold Cases                                                                             photo: Henry Dee

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Lynchsong

              By Lorraine Hansberry

I can hear Rosalee
See the eyes of Willie McGee
My mother told me about
Lynchings
My mother told me about
The dark nights
And dirt roads
And torch lights
And lynch robes

The
faces of men
Laughing white
Faces of men
Dead in the night
sorrow night
and a
sorrow night

1951

Source: AmericanLynching

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The Eyes of Willie McGee

 A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South

By Alex Heard

An iconic criminal case—a black man sentenced to death for raping a white woman in Mississippi in 1945—exposes the roiling tensions of the early civil rights era in this provocative study. McGee's prosecution garnered international protests—he was championed by the Communist Party and defended by a young lawyer named Bella Abzug (later a New York City congresswoman and cofounder of the National Women's Political Caucus), while luminaries from William Faulkner to Albert Einstein spoke out for him—but journalist Heard (Apocalypse Pretty Soon) finds the saga rife with enigmas. The case against McGee, hinging on a possibly coerced confession, was weak and the legal proceedings marred by racial bias and intimidation. (During one of his trials, his lawyers fled for their lives without delivering summations.) But Heard contends that McGee's story—that he and the victim, Willette Hawkins, were having an affair—is equally shaky. The author's extensive research delves into the documentation of the case, the public debate surrounding it, and the recollections of McGee and Hawkins's family members. Heard finds no easy answers, but his nuanced, evocative portrait of the passions enveloping McGee's case is plenty revealing.—Publishers Weekly

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Writer Lorraine Hansberry's sober eulogy of the death of Willie McGee weighed heavy on the hearts and minds of the American Left. On May 8, 1951, a crowd of five hundred lingered outside the courthouse of Laurel, Mississippi, to witness the execution of yet another black man convicted for allegedly raping a white woman. His 1945 lightning trial resulted in a guilty conviction delivered in less than two and a half minutes by an all-white, male jury, setting off a heated five-year legal struggle that drew national headlines. Despite an aggressive appeals defense team who attempted every legal maneuver in the book, the US Supreme Court ultimately chose not to intervene. With the legal lynching of the Martinsville Seven in February, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg's conviction in March, followed by the execution of McGee in May, 1951 was a bad year for Left-leaning lawyers (Parrish 1979; Rise 1995). Most discouraging, national news sources like the New York Times and Life magazine red-baited the "Save Willie McGee" campaign and—as Life reported—its "imported" lawyers (Popham 1951a; Life 1951). Few felt McGee's passing with as heavy a heart as his chief counsel, thirty-one-year-old Bella Abzug.

Before Abzug became a representative in Congress and a leader in the peace and women's movements, she confronted the Southern political and legal system at the height of the early Cold War. Retained in 1948 by the Civil Rights Congress (CRC)—a New York-headquartered Popular Front legal defense organization—the novice labor lawyer honed her civil rights . . .

Source: https://Litigation-Essentials.LexisNexis

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  /  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  /  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Death of Emmett Till

                                     By Bob Dylan 

 

'Twas down in Mississippi not so long ago,
When a young boy from Chicago town walked through a
Southern door.
This boy's fateful tragedy you should all remember well,
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason, but I disremember what.
They tortured him and did some things too evil to
repeat.
There was screaming sounds inside the barn, there was
laughing sounds out on the street.

Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a blood-red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his
screaming pain.
The reason that they killed him there, and I'm sure it
ain’t no lie,
He was a Black skin boy so he was born to die
And then to stop the United States of yelling for a trial,
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor
Emmett Till.
But on the jury there were men who helped the brothers
commit this awful crime,
And so this trial was a mockery, but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett's body still floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime
that's so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men's dirt, your mind is
filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and
your blood it must cease to flow,
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that
ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we
could give,
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan

*   *   *   *   *

 

Lynching of Lint Shaw in Royston, Georgia, 1936                                                                                                                 Lynching William Brown in Douglas County, Nebraska, 1919

Other Books on Lynching & Violence in America

 The Chronological History of the Negro in America (1969) /  Strain of Violence: Historical Studies of American Violence and Vigilantism (1975)

 But There Was no Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction (1984) / Lynch Law ( 1905)  / An American Dilemma (1944)

The Crucible of Race: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation (1984) / Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. (1989)

Rope and Faggot ( 1929)  /  The Tragedy of Lynching (1933)  /  Race Riot in East St, Louis (1964)  / Urban Racial Violence (1976)  /

Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (1968)  /  Violence in America (1969)

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Dear Mr. Lewis,  I'm writing for a friend who is currently in possession of a very old postcard picturing 3 very well dressed black men who, unfortunately, have been hung. Doing research on Ida B. Well-Barnett I've found a story on three such men in Memphis on the date March 9, 1892. Handwritten in ink on the card is a date that seems to be 9/9/1892 but because of the age of the card the first 9 is a little intelligible. Is it possible that this incident could have been made a post card? I've never encountered anything quite like this before. Frank (4 May 2007)

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Strange Fruit Anniversary of a Lynching

August 7, 2010

Eighty years ago, two young African-American men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were lynched in the town center of Marion, Indiana. . . .  Local photographer Lawrence Beitler took what would become the most iconic photograph of lynching in America. The photograph shows two bodies hanging from a tree surrounded by a crowd of ordinary citizens, including women and children. Thousands of copies were made and sold. The photograph helped inspire the poem and song Strange Fruit written by Abel Meeropol—and performed around the world by Billie Holiday.

But there was a third person, 16-year-old James Cameron, who narrowly survived the lynching.

"After 15 or 20 minutes of having their pictures taken and everything, they came back to get me. . .  And I looked over to the faces of the people as they were beating me along the way to the tree. I was pleading for some kind of mercy, looking for a kind face. But I could find none. . . . And that's when I prayed to God. I said, 'Lord have mercy, forgive me my sins.' I was ready to die." NPR    NPR Transcript

 

Strange Fruit Lyncing Report

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White Things

          By Anne Spencer

Most things are colorful things—
the sky, earth, and sea.
Black men are most men;
but the white are free!
White things are rare things;
so rare, so rare
They stole from out a silvered
world—somewhere.

Finding earth-plains fair plains,
save greenly grassed,
They strewed white feathers of
cowardice, as they passed;

The golden stars with lances fine,
The hills all red and darkened pine,
They blanched with their want of power;
And turned the blood in a ruby rose
To a poor white poppy-flower.

They pyred a race of black, black men,
And burned them to ashes white; then,
Laughing, a young one claimed a skull,
For the skull of a black is white, not dull,
But a glistening awful thing

Made, it seems, for this ghoul to swing
In the face of God with all his might,
And swear by the hell that sired him:
"Man-maker, make white!"

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Anne Spencer

poet, a civil rights activist, a teacher, a librarian, and a gardener

In 1924, Spencer was hired by the Jones Memorial Library's board of trustees to work at the Dunbar High School library. Dunbar was Lynchburg's African American high school and its library the only branch open to African Americans in the city. Between these two jobs, Spencer spent much of her time writing and serving on committees to improve the legal, social, and economic aspects of African Americans' lives.

During this time, Spencer also helped to establish the Lynchburg chapter of the NAACP and led a campaign to hire black teachers in black schools.—EncyclopediaVirginia

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Time's Unfading Garden: Anne Spencer's Life and Poetry

By J. Lee Greene

This biography about the life of lesser-known Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer, reveals details about the Harlem Renaissance that helps to link people, places and events together. Mrs. Spencer's garden home was an important nexus between the North and the South for many of the Black intelligentsia during that time. Her biography shares her friendships with James Weldon Johnson, W. E. B. Du Bois and others; giving us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of these great figures of African American history.  We also receive the gift of learning about Mrs. Spencer's literary contribution to the Harlem Renaissance, with a healthy collection of her poems placed in an appendix in the back of the book. "Time's Unfading Garden" would be a wonderful addition to any Harlem Renaissance collection. It is a rare item today, but if you can find it, it is worth the investment.

Anne Spencer (1882-1976), poet and librarian, lived and worked in the Pierce Street home from 1903 until death in 1975. Internationally recognized as a poet of the Harlem Renaissance period, Anne was the first Virginian and first African-American to have her poetry included in the Norton Anthology of American Poetry. Also an activist for equality and educational opportunities for all, she hosted such dignitaries as Langston Hughes, Marian Anderson, George Washington Carver, Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., James Weldon Johnson, and W. E. B. Du Bois. The local chapter of the NAACP was founded from her home. The restored garden, where Anne was an avid gardener, and Edankraal, a one-room retreat where Anne did much of her writing, are also part of the property.—WEB Archives

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Lynching Index / The Lynching of James Cameron / Strange Fruit in Jena 

A Time of Terror: A Survivor's Story James Cameron

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Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America

Edited by James Allen

These images make the past present. They refute the notion that photographs of charged historical subjects lose their power, softening and becoming increasingly aesthetic with time. These images are not going softly into any artistic realm. Instead they send shock waves through the brain, implicating ever larger chunks of American society and in many ways reaching up to the present. They give one a deeper and far sadder understanding of what it has meant to be white and to be black in America. And what it still means.New York Times, January 13, 2000

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Lynchings in America . . . a bit of history that sheds light on the present and future

When I was a boy growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana, the word lynching was hardly ever mentioned. My parents only said these "mean" acts happened in the country (rural areas) with white men in white gowns (the KKK). In all my schooling, through high school and on to college, lynching was never part of a lecture or connected with American history. I knew of the word, lynching, but never, never the scope of this violent, hateful act.

On Thursday, January 13, 2000, an article entitled, "An Ugly Legacy Lives on, Its Glare Unsoftened by Age," by Robert Smith was published in the New York Times. This excellent article revealed a world not known by many Americans living today and especially by me. Without my explaining here, it should be read by all persons, especially as it pertains to race and hate. Without understanding this past evil history, we cannot understand why hate is on the rise today in this year of 2000.

After reading the New York Times article, I wanted to know more about lynching and what could possibly be presented on this squeamish subject. It turned out that an exhibit of rare collected photo postcards were on display featuring lynchings as they took place in America from 1883-1960. I saw this exhibit. It was on view at the Roth Horowitz Gallery in New York City until February 12, 2000. This small gallery took in only about fifteen people at a time, and the line was long. Watching the viewers as they exited revealed what was inside: people with tears, some with anguish, some looked surprised with the horror they had seen.

This New York exhibition presented the collected photocards of Mr. James Allen, a white Atlanta resident who, for fifteen years, sought out these images of racial horror and self-righteous vigilante acts as rare finds. Since most of these photocards were kept as "keepsakes" by some families, Mr. Allen had to solicit ads for purchase. He paid from fifteen dollars to as much as thirty thousand dollars for individual cards. The sixty photo postcards and other material were temporarily housed in the library at Emory University to allow scholars to have access to it, but are now being held by their owner at www.withoutsanctuary.org  /  Melvin Sylvester, Feb. 2000

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"Cloaking an Apology for Lawlessness"

 Ida B. Wells, Frances Willard and the Lynching Controversy, 1890-1894

Author: Amy Hackett

Advisor: Jean Humez

Abstract:

Between 1890 and 1894, as calls to protect the honor of white womanhood abounded in an American society ripe with conflict over race, gender and morality, there erupted a controversy over lynching between social reformer Frances Willard, the president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells. Ida B. Wells vehemently protested lynching, arguing that the justification for lynching predicated on the black rape of white women was a myth created by white men as an excuse to lynch black men in attempts to regain political and economic power in the post-Civil War era.

Wells also radically contended that white women were engaging in these types of relationships, even seducing black men, deceiving white society by denying that relationships could be consensual, and then standing by while African American men were lynched for rape. Her suggestion that white women might voluntarily engage in sexual relationships with black men, provocatively challenged the concepts of the purity, chastity and morality of white womanhood central to the conceptual framework of the W.C.T.U.

As the president of one of America's foremost social reform organizations, Frances Willard called for the protection of the purity of white womanhood from threats to morality and safety. In her attempts to bring Southern women into the W.C.T.U., Frances Willard accepted the rape myth and publicly condoned lynching and the color line in the South. Wells argued that as a Christian reformer, Willard should be speaking out against lynching, but instead seemed to support the position of Southerners.

While Willard strongly refuted Wells' claims and made statements denouncing lynching, she continued to accept the rape myth, denying that white women could possibly take part in sexual relationships with black men. For Willard, accepting Wells' position on voluntary interracial sex would have meant admitting that true white women were not pure, chaste and moral, undercutting the basic conceptual underpinnings of her organization.

This paper examines the lynching controversy between Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells as a lens through which to view the broader subject of race relations in white-founded social reform movements, especially the issues of white womanhood, African American manhood, and sexuality in the late nineteenth century America.

First, this paper explains Frances Willard's personal and professional background, as well as the early history of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. I focus on how Willard's childhood experiences shaped her understanding of the "woman question" and her interest in education and social reform. I also explore how Willard's political strategy as the president of the W.C.T.U., specifically in recruiting Southern white women and African American women to membership, had consequences for her position in the lynching controversy.

Second, this paper focuses on Wells' persona and professional background and how she came to commit her energies to a campaign against lynching. In this section, I focus on Wells' personal experience as a single African American woman in the South, and how she turned to protest of racial discrimination as a central focus of her professional career.

In both of the first two sections, I argue that the early experiences of both women shaped their approaches to activism and the values they espoused in their advocacy.

Third, this paper details the lynching controversy itself, providing an analysis of the debate through examining the speeches and publications of Wells and Willard on the lynching between 1890 and 1894. Lastly, this paper attempts to explain why Wells and Willard were unable to come to any agreement on the lynching controversy. Central to this discussion is understanding how Wells and Willard envision protection for women. Willard's and Wells' concepts of protection for women included an implicit stance on white and black sexuality, as well as white womanhood and black manhood, particularly in the context of the debate. Ultimately, Wells and Willard spoke at cross purposes and were unable to see each other's positions.

In this paper, I utilize the speeches and publications of Wells and Willard between 1890 and 1894, which convey their positions on race relations, concepts of womanhood, lynching and rape, to produce a complex picture of the lynching controversy. In order to develop an understanding of Wells' personal history and position on the controversy, I extensively rely upon Wells' autobiography, Crusade for Justice, and Patricia Schechter's recent biography of Wells, Ida B. Wells-Barnett and American Reform, 1880-1930, as well as other biographical works on Wells.

Similarly, I make extensive use of Willard's published journal and Ruth Bordin's biography on Willard, Frances Willard: A Biography, and her book on the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Woman and Temperance, in addition to other biographies written on Willard (although these biographies are quite dated) to explain Willard's background and the history of the W.C.T.U. I also utilize scholarship on Southern sexual politics, lynching and concepts of white womanhood, including works by Paula Baker, Robyn Wiegman, Gail Bederman, Glenda Gilmore and Hazel Carby.

This paper may be of interest to students and scholars of history and American Studies who are examining race relations in white-founded social reform movements in America in the late nineteenth century. This paper is specifically relevant of those examining issues of white womanhood, African American manhood and sexuality during this time.

Lastly, this paper may be of particular interest to those focused on examining the link between power and sexuality in the political and social climate of Reconstruction, and the consequences for the African American community. Roundtable UMB

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George H. White, Congressman of North Carolina (1897-1901), introduced into the House of Representatives (January 20, 1900) the first bill designed to make lynching a federal offense. the year before White introduced his bill, 87 Negroes and twelve white men had been lynched. During the decade before 1890 to 1900 1,127 mob murders by hanging, burning, shooting, or beating were recorded.

Newspapers from January to October, 1900, reported 114 lynchings, all but two in the South. "It is evident that the white people of the South have no further use of the Negro," wrote an Arkansas minister, E.M. Argyle, to the Christian Recorder in 1892. "he is being treated worse now than at any other time since the surrender."

But that same year Frederick Douglass said, "Nor is the south alone responsible for this burning shame. . . . The sin against the Negro is both sectional and national; and until the voice of the North shall be heard in emphatic condemnation  and withering reproach against these continued ruthless mob law murders, it will remain equally involved with the South in this common crime."

The Cleveland Gazette reported in 1898 violence against two Negro postmasters: the shooting of Isaac H. Loftin in Georgia and the burning of the post office and lynching of a Postmaster Baker in Lake City, South Carolina. His wife, three daughters, and a son were wounded and a baby in arms was killed. In both of these cases, the paper stated, concerning the mob, "No effort to arrest and punish them has ever been made."

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Miriam DeCosta-Willis, The Memphis Diary of Ida B. Wells (Review)

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Ida B. Wells: a Passion for Justice

Documents the dramatic life and turbulent times of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period.

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Ida B. Wells--A demand for the arrest and punishment of lynchers became a major Negro crusade at the turn of the century. the outstanding figure at the turn of the century. the outstanding figure in this movement was a Negro woman, Ida B. Wells, who compiled in 1895 the first statistical pamphlet on lynching, The Red Record. Miss Wells, born in Mississippi in 1869, taught school in Memphis, Tennessee, until she became the editor and part-owner of a newspaper, the Memphis Free Speech, which circulated throughput the Mississippi Delta.

When in May 1892, her paper exposed some of the forces involved in the lynching of three young Negro businessmen in Memphis, her offices were demolished by white hoodlums and she was driven from the city.

In Chicago, Ida B. Wells married the militant race leader Ferdinand Barnett and both became active in the National Equal Rights League. Mrs. Wells-Barnett became chairman of the Anti-Lynching Bureau of the National Afro-American Council and a famous speaker at home and abroad on Negro rights.

Statistically she proved that the "protection of white womanhood," as the South claimed, was not the basis for lynchings, since in no given year had even half of the Negroes who were lynched been charged with rape or attempted rape and that in 1900 less than 15 per cent of those lynched had been so suspected. Lynching, she contended was a form of intimidation to preserve the plantation economy and the white ballot box of the South.

Source: Langston Hughes, Milton Meltzer, and Langston Hughes. A Pictorial History of Blackamericans. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1983.

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The Lonesome Death of Hattie CarrollFrom the album The Times They Are a-Changin' "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" is a topical song written by the American musician Bob Dylan. Recorded on October 23, 1963, the song was released on Dylan's 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin' and gives a generally factual account of the killing of 51-year-old barmaid Hattie Carroll by the wealthy young tobacco farmer from Charles County, Maryland, William Devereux "Billy" Zantzinger (whom the song calls "William Zanzinger"), and his subsequent sentence to six months in a county jail. Dylan's song, however, sentenced Zantzinger to lifelong infamy. The song never mentions that Zantzinger was white, and Hattie Carroll black, it's understood, according to Dylan biographer Howard Sounes, "a mark of Dylan's skill, the song combines the artistry of a poet and the economy of a news reporter." The lyrics are a commentary on the racism of the 1960s, which valued a black woman's life so lightly. In 1963 when Hattie Carroll was killed, Charles County was still strictly segregated by race in public facilities such as restaurants, churches, theaters, doctor's offices, buses, and the county fair. The schools of Charles County were not integrated until 1967. The main incident of the song took place in the early hours of February 9, 1963, at the white tie Spinsters' Ball at the Emerson Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Using a toy cane, Zantzinger drunkenly assaulted at least three of the Emerson Hotel workers: a bellboy, a waitress, and at about 1:30 in the morning of the 9th Carroll, a barmaid. In addition to her work at the hotel, Hattie Carroll, at 51, was the mother of eleven children.

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Bill Moyers Interviews Douglass A. Blackmon

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06202008/watch2.html

Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (2008)

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

By John Lewis

The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Congressman Lewis have never been more relevant. Now, more than ever, this nation needs a strong and moral voice to guide an engaged population through visionary change. Congressman John Lewis was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He is the author of his autobiography, Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement, and is the recipient of numerous awards from national and international institutions, including the Lincoln Medal; the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award (the only one of its kind ever awarded); the NAACP Spingarn Medal; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, among many others.

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Debt: The First 5,000 Years

By David Graeber

Before there was money, there was debt. Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter systems—to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There’s not a shred of evidence to support it. Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods—that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.  Graeber shows that arguments about debt and debt forgiveness have been at the center of political debates from Italy to China, as well as sparking innumerable insurrections. He also brilliantly demonstrates that the language of the ancient works of law and religion (words like “guilt,” “sin,” and “redemption”) derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong.  

 Economist Glenn Loury  /Criminalizing a Race

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Race, Incarceration, and American Values

By Glenn C. Loury

In this pithy discussion, renowned scholars debate the American penal system through the lens—and as a legacy—of an ugly and violent racial past. Economist Loury argues that incarceration rises even as crime rates fall because we have become increasingly punitive. According to Loury, the disproportionately black and brown prison populations are the victims of civil rights opponents who successfully moved the country's race dialogue to a seemingly race-neutral concern over crime. Loury's claims are well-supported with genuinely shocking statistics, and his argument is compelling that even if the racial argument about causes is inconclusive, the racial consequences are clear.

Three shorter essays respond: Stanford law professor Karlan examines prisoners as an inert ballast in redistricting and voting practices; French sociologist Wacquant argues that the focus on race has ignored the fact that inmates are first and foremost poor people; and Harvard philosophy professor

Shelby urges citizens to break with Washington's political outlook on race. The group's respectful sparring results in an insightful look at the conflicting theories of race and incarceration, and the slim volume keeps up the pace of the argument without being overwhelming.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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