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Vocapedia > USA > Race relations > Slavery, Racism > Lynchings





Haunted by Memories for 100 Years        Video        The New York Times        27 September 2015


In 1915,

Mamie Kirkland and her family

fled Ellisville, Miss.,

in fear that her father would be lynched.


She swore she would never return.


But at age 107, she made the journey.






Haunted by Memories for 100 Years

NYT        By KASSIE BRACKEN and YOUSUR AL-HLOU | Sep. 20, 2015 | 5:00



















The N.A.A.C.P. flew a flag outside its headquarters in 1936

after A.L. McCamy was lynched in Dalton, Ga.


The flag inspired Dread Scott to make a similar banner.



MPI/Getty Images


Does This Flag Make You Flinch?


To protest police violence,

an artist resurrected an old N.A.A.C.P. flag about lynching.

I wondered if provocative art could help a divided nation

confront its past and present.


By ANGELICA ROGERS        NYT        JULY 14, 2016



















Portrait of Mrs. Caleb Hill, widow of a lynching victim.


Marion Palfi/Center for Creative Photography,

All Rights Reserved


A Meditation on Race, in Shades of White

By Maurice Berger        NYT        Sep. 17, 2015












































































warning: graphic

















During the Jim Crow years in the South,

white people used poll taxes and literacy tests

to keep African-Americans from voting,

but the biggest obstacle was the threat of violence.


Miami. May 3, 1939.



Bettman/Getty Images


A Look at the Heart-Wrenching Moments From Equal Rights Battles

By Evelyn Nieves        NYT        Dec. 14, 2017
















 Warning: graphic


















Downtown Dallas in 1910,

when Allen Brooks, a black man,

was hanged from a telephone pole.



via Dallas Public Library/Dallas History Archives Division


History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names

NYT        FEB 10, 2015




















Souvenir Portrait of the Lynching of Abram Smith and Thomas Shipp,

August 7, 1930,

by studio photographer Lawrence Beitler.

Courtesy of the Indiana Hisorical Society.




The Splintered Mind

reflections in philosophy of psychology, broadly construed


photo from James Allen et al. (2000) Without Sanctuary

added 3 february 2012





















This 1930 photo shows the lynching

of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith

in Marion, Indiana.


This image is a part of the "Without Sanctuary:

Lynching Photography in America" exhibit.





















Charles Lynch    1736-1796


Charles Lynch (1736-1796)

was a Virginia planter, politician,

and American revolutionary

who headed an irregular court in Virginia

to punish Loyalist supporters of the British

during the American Revolutionary War.


The terms "lynching" and "lynch law"

are believed to be derived from his name.










lynching        UK










USA > lynching in the United States        UK / USA













illinois-sundown-towns/legend-of-anna/ - 7 November 2019














































watch?v=toWC8yOp7Xk - NYT - Sept. 27, 2015


























story.php?storyId=95672737 - Oct. 13, 2008








USA > Map of 73 Years of Lynchings


The locations of lynchings

from 1877 to 1950.


The most recent data on lynching,

compiled by the Equal Justice Initiative,

shows premeditated murders carried out

by at least three people

from 1877 to 1950.


The killers claimed

to be enforcing

some form of social justice.


The alleged offenses

that prompted the lynchings

included political activism

and testifying in court.

- NYT, FEB. 9, 2015






The lynching calendar        1865-1965


From 1865 to 1965

more than 6,000 African-Americans

died in racial violence

in the United States.


This inventory includes

the names of 2,400

of the African-Americans

who were lynched

in the United States

from 1865 to 1965.








Lynching of Rubin Stacey        July 19, 1935






Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith

are lynched in Marion, Indiana        August 7, 1930







Duluth lynchings - Minnesota

Isaac McGhie, Elmer Jackson and Elias Clayton

are lynched by a white mob        June 15, 1920







Omaha Courthouse Lynching of 1919


















Leo Frank and wife Lucille during his trial.


Photograph: Public Domain


From the archive, 31 August 1915:

The Georgia lynching of Leo Frank


Monday 31 August 2015        05.30 BST
















The Georgia lynching of Leo Frank        1915


The Leo Frank case

is one of the most notorious

and highly publicized cases

in the legal annals of Georgia.


A Jewish man in Atlanta

was placed on trial and convicted

of raping and murdering

a thirteen-year-old girl

who worked

for the National Pencil Company,

which he managed.


Before the lynching of Frank

two years later,

the case became known

throughout the nation.


The degree of anti-Semitism

involved in Frank's conviction

and subsequent lynching

is difficult to assess,

but it was enough of a factor

to have inspired Jews, and others,

throughout the country

to protest the conviction

of an innocent man.













The circus-style lynching of "Froggy" / James William "Frog" James         1909












be hanged








string up




















Nina Simone    1933-2003 










Billie Holiday (1915-1959) > Strange Fruit        Recorded April 20, 1939

















Lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas        1916    /    Lynchings

















KKK > Lynching > Michael Donald's murder        1961/2-1981












History of Lynchings

in the South


Nearly 4,000 Names


FEB. 10, 2015

The New York Times



DALLAS — A block from the tourist-swarmed headquarters of the former Texas School Book Depository sits the old county courthouse, now a museum. In 1910, a group of men rushed into the courthouse, threw a rope around the neck of a black man accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old white girl, and threw the other end of the rope out a window. A mob outside yanked the man, Allen Brooks, to the ground and strung him up at a ceremonial arch a few blocks down Main Street.

South of the city, past the Trinity River bottoms, a black man named W. R. Taylor was hanged by a mob in 1889. Farther south still is the community of Streetman, where 25-year-old George Gay was hanged from a tree and shot hundreds of times in 1922.

And just beyond that is Kirkin, where three black men, two of them almost certainly innocent, were accused of killing a white woman and, under the gaze of hundreds of soda-drinking spectators, were castrated, stabbed, beaten, tied to a plow and set afire in the spring of 1922.

The killing of Mr. Brooks is noted in the museum. The sites of the other killings, like those of nearly every lynching in the United States, are not marked. Bryan Stevenson believes this should change.

On Tuesday, the organization he founded and runs, the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., released a report on the history of lynchings in the United States, the result of five years of research and 160 visits to sites around the South. The authors of the report compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950.

Next comes the process of selecting lynching sites where the organization plans to erect markers and memorials, which will involve significant fund-raising, negotiations with distrustful landowners and, almost undoubtedly, intense controversy.

The process is intended, Mr. Stevenson said, to force people to reckon with the narrative through-line of the country’s vicious racial history, rather than thinking of that history in a short-range, piecemeal way.

“Lynching and the terror era shaped the geography, politics, economics and social characteristics of being black in America during the 20th century,” Mr. Stevenson said, arguing that many participants in the great migration from the South should be thought of as refugees fleeing terrorism rather than people simply seeking work.

The lynching report is part of a longer project Mr. Stevenson began several years ago. One phase involved the erection of historical markers about the extensive slave markets in Montgomery. The city and state governments were not welcoming of the markers, despite the abundance of Civil War and civil rights movement memorials in Montgomery, but Mr. Stevenson is planning to do the same thing elsewhere.

Around the country, there are only a few markers noting the sites of lynchings. In several of those places, like Newnan, Ga., attempts to erect markers were met with local resistance. But in most places, no one has tried to put up a marker.

Efforts to count the number of lynchings in the country go back at least to 1882, when The Chicago Tribune began publishing each January a list of all executions and lynchings in the previous year. The Tuskegee Institute began releasing a list in 1912, and in 1919, the N.A.A.C.P. published what its researchers said was a comprehensive list of lynchings in the previous three decades. In 1995, the sociologists Stewart Tolnay and E. M. Beck researched the existing lists, eliminated errors and duplicates, and compiled what many consider the most accurate inventory to that time.

The report released Tuesday says that the new inventory has 700 names that are not on any of these previous lists, many of which Mr. Stevenson said were discovered during the compilation of the report.

Professor Beck, who teaches at the University of Georgia, has not reviewed the new list. But he pointed out that, with racial violence so extensive and carried out in so many different ways, compilers of lists may differ on what constitutes a lynching; the new list, as opposed to some previous ones, includes one-time massacres of large numbers of African-Americans, such as occurred in Arkansas in 1919 and in Louisiana in 1887.

“If you’re trying to make a point that the amount of racial violence is underestimated, well then, there’s no doubt about it,” Professor Beck said. “What people don’t realize here is just how many there were, and how close. Places they drive by every day.”

Among Professor Beck’s findings were that the number of lynchings did not rise or fall in proportion to the number of state-sanctioned executions, underscoring what Mr. Stevenson said was a crucial point: that these brutal deaths were not about administering popular justice, but terrorizing a community.

“Many of these lynchings were not executing people for crimes but executing people for violating the racial hierarchy,” he said, meaning offenses such as bumping up against a white woman or wearing an Army uniform.

But, he continued, even when a major crime was alleged, the refusal to grant a black man a trial — despite the justice system’s near certain outcome — and the public extravagance of a lynching were clearly intended as a message to other African-Americans.

The bloody history of Paris, Tex., about 100 miles northeast of Dallas, is well known if rarely brought up, said Thelma Dangerfield, the treasurer of the local N.A.A.C.P. chapter. Thousands of people came in 1893 to see Henry Smith, a black teenager accused of murder, carried around town on a float, then tortured and burned to death on a scaffold.

Until recently, some longtime residents still remembered when the two Arthur brothers were tied to a flagpole and set on fire at the city fairgrounds in 1920.

“There were two or three blacks who were actually around during that time, but you couldn’t get them to talk about it,” Ms. Dangerfield said.

She helped set up an exhibit in the county historical museum, the only commemoration of the lynchings she knows of in a town with prominent public memorials to the Confederacy. The prospect of a permanent marker had not occurred to her.

“It would be a fight,” she said. “Someone is going to have some resistance to it. But you know, I think it wouldn’t hurt to try it.”

A version of this article appears in print on February 10, 2015, on page A11 of the New York edition with the headline: History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names.

History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names,
FEB 10, 2015,






Push to Resolve

Fading Killings of Rights Era


February 3, 2007

The New York Times



ATLANTA, Feb. 2 — For every infamous killing that tore at the South in the 1950s and ’60s, there were many more that were barely noted, much less investigated.

Virtually all such cases gained momentum only when the victims of the past found voices in the present, like those that helped arrest a 71-year-old man last month in connection with the Klan killings of two black teenagers in Mississippi in 1964. Rather than police officials, it has often been journalists and filmmakers who have combed through documents and tracked down witnesses, fueling some 15 years of successful prosecutions.

Only now, with time running out because potential witnesses and suspects are dying off, have law enforcement officials begun to take a systematic approach to unsolved civil rights crimes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently canvassed its field offices for the first time, compiling a list of 51 victims in 39 cases, most of which were never investigated by the bureau.

The list was prompted not by the string of convictions, but by a letter about the lynching of two black couples at the Moore’s Ford Bridge, east of Atlanta, in 1946, said Chip Burrus, the assistant director of the F.B.I.’s criminal investigative division.

“When I read the letter, I said, ‘I’ve never heard of Moore’s Ford. What is this about?’ ” Mr. Burrus said. “There’ve got to be more of these things.”

That a single letter prodded the F.B.I. to action illustrates how slender are the time-brittled fibers that knit together the outcome in these fading crimes.

In the case that produced the recent arrest, timing was crucial. If the bodies of the victims, Henry H. Dee and Charles E. Moore, had been found just three weeks earlier in the summer of 1964, their deaths might have been largely forgotten.

The two friends, a sawmill worker and a college student, were 19 when they disappeared in May 1964, last seen hitchhiking on the highway near Meadville, Miss. They were beaten and drowned by Klansmen who mistakenly believed the two were involved in plotting an armed uprising. Two months later, on July 12, a fisherman spotted the torso of Mr. Moore in a Mississippi River backwater called the Old River. Mr. Dee was found the next day.

At the time, an extensive search was under way for three civil rights workers, two of whom were white New Yorkers, who had disappeared on the opposite end of the state in what became known as the “Mississippi Burning” case. The initial classification of Mr. Moore’s body as that of a Caucasian male, and thus potentially one of the missing rights workers, caused a spurt of media coverage.

That fleeting interest had two results, said David Ridgen, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation producer who has made a documentary about the case. It prompted the F.B.I. to investigate, and it ensured that there was enough in the historical record to arouse the curiosity, decades later, of scholars and reporters.

Countless other race killings, however, were minimally recorded. In the late 1980s, when the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., was creating its memorial to 40 civil rights martyrs, most of whose cases remain unprosecuted, researchers found more than 80 victims who could not be included because not enough was known about the circumstances of their deaths.

“It was so frustrating and sad,” said Sarah Bullard, the project’s chief researcher. “If the information wasn’t there I couldn’t include them, no matter what I suspected or felt.”

Mr. Burrus of the F.B.I. said he was not familiar with the monument or the center’s research, but that the bureau had also consulted civil rights groups in compiling its list.

Because local newspapers often ignored such killings, Ms. Bullard pored over microfilm of national newspapers and records compiled by the Tuskegee Institute, internal memorandums of the N.A.A.C.P. and other civil rights groups, and cartons of news clippings collected by a research group called the Southern Regional Council and stored in the basement of a Korean grocery in Atlanta.

Ms. Bullard recalled references to an unidentified teenager who was found in the Big Black River in Mississippi wearing a Congress of Racial Equality T-shirt. After scouring all her sources, she learned only his name, Herbert Oarsby.

“There were activists who were trying to pay attention,” Ms. Bullard said, “but at the same time there were African-American communities who knew that racist crimes amongst them were not going to be investigated or reported and made the choice not to seek justice because it would bring on further violence against them.”

That may have been the case with Mr. Moore’s mother, Mazie, who made her elder son Thomas promise not to avenge or seek justice for his brother’s death. In 1964, when reporters found her at the country shack where she had lived all her life, she repeatedly praised the white residents of Franklin County, a Klan stronghold, and said there was nothing to be done.

Alvin Sykes, a civil rights advocate who has urged the federal government to pass the Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Bill, which would provide $11.5 million per year to investigate these cases, said part of that money would be used to encourage people scared into silence at the time to come forward. “We have absolutely no idea how many of them are out there,” Mr. Sykes said.

Mazie Moore died in 1977, and in 1998 Thomas Moore finally decided to seek justice, contacting the local district attorney, Ronnie Harper, who was unaware of the case. Mr. Harper requested information from the F.B.I., and was told that no file on the case existed.

But in 2000 two journalists, Jerry Mitchell of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson and Harry Phillips of ABC News, obtained copies of the F.B.I. investigation file that was said to be missing, which had led to the arrest of Charles M. Edwards and James F. Seale in November 1964, though the charges were dropped when the district attorney said there was not enough evidence to make a case.

Mr. Phillips used the file to track down the F.B.I.’s principal informant, Ernest Gilbert, then 74, persuading him to do an on-camera interview about the case, and Mr. Mitchell reported that because the crime began in the Homochitto National Forest, where the two victims were tied to trees and beaten with switches, federal prosecutors might have jurisdiction in the case.

But even those breakthroughs did not force prosecutors to act. Mr. Harper says he was told by the F.B.I. that Mr. Gilbert would not testify. The F.B.I. closed the case in 2003 because the jurisdiction issue could not be resolved, said Deborah Madden, a spokeswoman for the F.B.I. office in Jackson. Mr. Gilbert died in 2004.

Thomas Moore, living in Colorado Springs, grew tired of telling reporters his brother’s story with no result. But in 2005, Mr. Ridgen, the documentary producer, convinced him that the two should go back to Mississippi together.

On that trip, they discovered that Mr. Seale was not dead, as several newspapers had reported, but was still living in Franklin County. Then came a coincidence: Thomas Moore had served in the same Army unit as Dunn Lampton, who became the United States attorney in Jackson in 2001. Mr. Moore and Mr. Ridgen persuaded Mr. Lampton to reopen the case, resulting in the recent arrest of Mr. Seale, who has pleaded not guilty.

“Thomas Moore had a lot of information about what happened, and I made use of that,” Mr. Lampton said. “You don’t come into an office and go back and start digging through all the old files to find something to do. It’s only when someone brings that to your attention.”

Push to Resolve Fading Killings of Rights Era,










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Anglonautes > Arts > Music > Jazz


Nina Simone    USA    1933-2003


Billie Holiday    USA    1915-1959