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Ida B. Wells: Lynch Law in America

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Hannah C

on 28 November 2012

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Transcript of Ida B. Wells: Lynch Law in America

Ida B. Wells:
Lynch Law in America The Arena, January 1900 Structure


Desired Effect 188 Lynchings a Year
from 1890 to 1899 93 Lynchings a Year
from 1900 to 1909 Ida Bell Wells-Barnett 1862-1931

friends lynched by white mob

1909: founding
member of the NAACP Sources

Tindall, George Brown, and David E. Shi. 2007. America: A Narrative History Vol. 2, 7th ed. New York: Norton.

Tucker, David M. "Miss Ida B. Wells and Memphis Lynching." Phylon Vol.32 No. 2 (1971): 112-122.

Wells, Ida B. "Lynch Law in America." Arena 23 (January 1900): 15-24. Boston based magazine
muckraking journalism
30. 000 readers
predominantly white
1) True crime of lynching = public acceptance
2) History of lynching and the excuse of the "unwritten law"
3) Mass acceptance of lynching
4) Double standard of criminal law 1) Anaphora listing injustice and arbitrariness
'without ... without', 'no matter ... no matter'

2) vivid language for white hypocrisy
'surrounded by wild beasts'
'with all the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition and all the barbarism of the Middle Ages' 1) Provoke guilt:
not the mob itself is to be blamed, but 'the world that looks on and says it is well'
2) Warn:
beware of the 'boys [who] are being hardened in crime and schooled in vice'
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