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Lynching Photographs

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Alora Sade

on 15 December 2016

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Transcript of Lynching Photographs

Lynching-The History
When recording the amount of people to have been lynched, researchers usually look at the time period of 1877-1950, which had an estimated lynching number of 4075.
Reasons Why Blacks Were Lynched:
Blacks were lynched for the smallest situations and many times for crimes they did not commit.
Lynching Photos- Why?
What's the appeal?
Famous Lynchings
Three African-American teenagers: Tom Shipp, Abe Smith, and James Cameron — huddled inside their cells, charged with the murder of a white man and the rape of white woman. The crowd spared the youngest at last minute. One tried to break free so they lowered him, broke his arms, and put him back up.

Jesse Washington was convicted of raping and murdering Lucy Fryer, the wife of his white employer in rural Robinson, Texas.

Jennie Steers On July 25, 1903 a mob lynched Jennie Steers on the Beard Plantation in Louisiana for supposedly giving a white teenager, 16 year-old Elizabeth Dolan, a glass of poisoned lemonade.

Laura Nelson was accused her of killing a deputy sheriff who supposedly stumbled on some stolen goods in her house.
The mob raped and dragged Nelson six miles to the Canadian River and hanged her from a bridge.
Other Facts about Lynching:
-At the turn of the 20th century, at least 100 lynchings were being reported each year. In 1892, a record 230 people were lynched, including 160 blacks.
-The first anti-lynching bill was proposed in 1900 by U.S. Rep. George H. White, who was African American.
-Seventeen percent of the black men lynched between 1889 and 1941 were accused of rape or attempted rape.
Because of terrorism such as lynching, 260,000 blacks -- 22 percent of the state's African American population -- left Georgia between 1920 and 1930.
Billie Holiday
Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
What Happened to the Reaction?
Americans once embraced these photos- what happened ?
The last officially recorded lynching in the United States occurred in 1968. However, many consider the
death of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas, at the hands of three whites who hauled him behind their pick-up truck with a chain. Contrary to popular belief, lynchings still occur today. On March 20, 2015, a man was found hanging in Mississippi. According to EuroNews, the man “had a bed sheet tied around his neck.” He said the victim had some sort of cap on his head. The man was identified as Otis Byrd, a 54-year old black man who disappeared on March 2. He was reported missing two weeks prior. The local chapter of the civil rights group NAACP identified the victim as the man who vanished more than two weeks ago. The group now suspects a Ku Klux Klan-type of murder.

Lynching Photographs
A Cultural Phenomena?
At the turn of the 20th century, at least 100 lynchings were being reported each year. In 1892, a record 230 people were lynched, including 160 blacks.
According to an essay appearing in "Brother Man- The Odyssey of Black Men in America- An Anthology" William Lynch was a British slave owner in the West Indies who came to the United States to tell American slave owners how to keep their slaves under control. It is believed that the term "lynching" is derived from Lynch's name.
Situations included:
- Not saying "Sir" to whites around them
-Being accused of raping a white woman without proof
-(In Emmett Till's case) Speaking to a white woman that was too friendly
-Skipping rocks across a lake
-Being unpopular in the community
-Being homeless
-Killing livestock (the livestock's lives were more important)
-Trying to vote or voting for the wrong party
-looking suspicious
-demanding respect
-suspected of voodooism
-People used lynching photographs to establish that they were a witness to that event
-"Photos of victims, with exultant white observers posed next to them, were taken for distribution in newspapers or on postcards. Body parts, including genitalia, were sometimes distributed to spectators or put on public display. "
-"Newspapers even printed that prominent white citizens in local towns attended lynchings, and often published victory pictures - smiling crowds, many with children in tow - standing next to the corpse"
Racial terror lynching was a tool used to enforce Jim Crow laws and racial segregation—a tactic for maintaining racial control by victimizing the entire African American community, not merely punishment of an alleged perpetrator for a crime
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