The Cross and the Lynching Tree

The Cross and the Lynching Tree
Author: James H. Cone
Pages: 202
ISBN: 9781608330010
Available:
Release: 2011
Editor: Orbis Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

The Lynching of Louie Sam

The Lynching of Louie Sam
Author: Elizabeth Stewart
Pages: 288
ISBN: 155451438X
Available:
Release: 2012-06
Editor: Annick Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

After Native American Louie Sam is suspected of killing someone, he is chased into Canada and lynched, but teenager George Gillies, a newcomer to Washington Territory, doesn't think Louie was guilty and sets out to investigate.

The Lynching of Emmett Till

The Lynching of Emmett Till
Author: Christopher Metress
Pages: 360
ISBN: 0813921228
Available:
Release: 2002
Editor: University of Virginia Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Uses excerpts from newspapers and editorials and accounts of the murder and trial to examine the lynching of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, in a volume which also contains selections from poems, songs, interviews, essays, and memoirs relating to the incident.

Harlem Shadows

Harlem Shadows
Author: Claude McKay
Pages: 88
ISBN: 9781513224060
Available:
Release: 2021-05-28
Editor: Graphic Arts Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Harlem Shadows (1922) is a poetry collection by Claude McKay. Published at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, Harlem Shadows earned praise from legendary poet and political activist Max Eastman for its depictions of urban life and the technical mastery of its author. As a committed leftist, McKay—who grew up in Jamaica—captures the life of Harlem from a realist’s point of view, lamenting the poverty of its African American community while celebrating their resilience and cultural achievement. In “The White City,” McKay observes New York, its “poles and spires and towers vapor-kissed” and “fortressed port through which the great ships pass.” Filled him with a hatred of the inhuman scene of industry and power, forced to “muse [his] life-long hate,” he observes the transformative quality of focused anger: “My being would be a skeleton, a shell, / If this dark Passion that fills my every mood, / And makes my heaven in the white world’s hell, / Did not forever feed me vital blood.” Rather than fall into despair, he channels his hatred into a revolutionary spirit, allowing him to stand tall within “the mighty city.” In “The Tropics in New York,” he walks past a window filled with “Bananas ripe and green, and ginger-root, / Cocoa in pods and alligator pears,” a feast of fresh tropical fruit that brings him back, however briefly, to his island home of Jamaica. Recording his nostalgic response, McKay captures his personal experience as an immigrant in America: “My eyes grew dim, and I could no more gaze; / A wave of longing through my body swept, / And, hungry for the old, familiar ways, / I turned aside and bowed my head and wept.” With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Claude McKay’s Harlem Shadows is a classic of Jamaican literature reimagined for modern readers.

The Lynching

The Lynching
Author: Laurence Leamer
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062458353
Available:
Release: 2016-06-07
Editor: HarperCollins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The New York Times bestselling author of The Kennedy Women chronicles the powerful and spellbinding true story of a brutal race-based killing in 1981 and subsequent trials that undid one of the most pernicious organizations in American history—the Ku Klux Klan. On a Friday night in March 1981 Henry Hays and James Knowles scoured the streets of Mobile in their car, hunting for a black man. The young men were members of Klavern 900 of the United Klans of America. They were seeking to retaliate after a largely black jury could not reach a verdict in a trial involving a black man accused of the murder of a white man. The two Klansmen found nineteen-year-old Michael Donald walking home alone. Hays and Knowles abducted him, beat him, cut his throat, and left his body hanging from a tree branch in a racially mixed residential neighborhood. Arrested, charged, and convicted, Hays was sentenced to death—the first time in more than half a century that the state of Alabama sentenced a white man to death for killing a black man. On behalf of Michael’s grieving mother, Morris Dees, the legendary civil rights lawyer and cofounder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a civil suit against the members of the local Klan unit involved and the UKA, the largest Klan organization. Charging them with conspiracy, Dees put the Klan on trial, resulting in a verdict that would level a deadly blow to its organization. Based on numerous interviews and extensive archival research, The Lynching brings to life two dramatic trials, during which the Alabama Klan’s motives and philosophy were exposed for the evil they represent. In addition to telling a gripping and consequential story, Laurence Leamer chronicles the KKK and its activities in the second half the twentieth century, and illuminates its lingering effect on race relations in America today. The Lynching includes sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs.

Blood Justice

Blood Justice
Author: Howard Smead
Pages: 248
ISBN: 0195054296
Available:
Release: 1988
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Reconstructs the case of Mack Charles Parker, a young African-American man who was lynched by a white mob in 1959 after being charged with the rape of a white woman in Poplarville, Mississippi.

American Lynching

American Lynching
Author: Ashraf H. A. Rushdy
Pages: 241
ISBN: 9780300184747
Available:
Release: 2012-10-30
Editor: Yale University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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 Lynching of Peter Wheeler

The Lynching of Peter Wheeler
Author: Debra Komar
Pages: 352
ISBN: 0864924178
Available:
Release: 2014-03-21
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

At 2:21 am on September 8, 1896, authorities in Nova Scotia killed an innocent man. Peter Wheeler — a "coloured" man accused of murdering a white girl — was strung up with a slipknot noose. The hanging was state-sanctioned but it was a lynching all the same. Now, a re-examination of his case using modern forensic science reveals one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Canadian history. On the night of January 27, 1896, 14-year-old Annie Kempton found herself home alone in the picturesque village of Bear River, Nova Scotia. She did not live to see the morning. Shortly after midnight, Annie was assaulted and bludgeoned with a piece of firewood. Her killer slit her throat three times with a kitchen knife then coldly sat and ate a jar of homemade jam before fleeing into the night. The senseless and brutal slaying devastated the town and plunged her parents into a near-suicidal abyss of guilt and grief. At trial, the prosecution's case focused on the inconsistencies in Wheeler's statements, the testimony of two children who placed Peter near the house on the night in question, and the detective's novel analysis of the physical evidence. It was one of the first trials in Canada to use forensic science, albeit poorly. Wheeler's defense team called no witnesses and did little to challenge the evidence presented. The jury deliberated less than two hours before declaring Peter Wheeler guilty of murder. The trial itself was a media sensation; every word was front page news. Several papers each ran their own version of "Wheeler's confession," an admission of guilt supposedly authored by the condemned man. Each rendition tried and failed to make sense of the conflicting timeline. With every new iteration, it became clearer that the case against Wheeler was not as airtight as the detective in charge, Nick Power, and the media had proclaimed. The Lynching of Peter Wheeler is a story of one town's rush to judgment. It is a tale of bigotry and incompetence, arrogance and pseudoscience, fear and misguided vengeance. It is a case study in media distortion, illustrating how the print media can manipulate the truth, destroy reputations, and so thoroughly taint a jury pool, that the notion of a fair trial becomes a statistical impossibility. At the height of the Victorian era, the media created a super villain in the mold of Jack the Ripper, the perfect foil for its other creation, super-sleuth Nick Power. The masterfully constructed narrative was perfect, save for one glaring detail: Peter Wheeler did not kill Annie Kempton.

At the Hands of Persons Unknown

At the Hands of Persons Unknown
Author: Philip Dray
Pages: 544
ISBN: 9780307430663
Available:
Release: 2007-12-18
Editor: Modern Library
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

WINNER OF THE SOUTHERN BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION • “A landmark work of unflinching scholarship.”—The New York Times This extraordinary account of lynching in America, by acclaimed civil rights historian Philip Dray, shines a clear, bright light on American history’s darkest stain—illuminating its causes, perpetrators, apologists, and victims. Philip Dray also tells the story of the men and women who led the long and difficult fight to expose and eradicate lynching, including Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and W.E.B. Du Bois. If lynching is emblematic of what is worst about America, their fight may stand for what is best: the commitment to justice and fairness and the conviction that one individual’s sense of right can suffice to defy the gravest of wrongs. This landmark book follows the trajectory of both forces over American history—and makes lynching’s legacy belong to us all. Praise for At the Hands of Persons Unknown “In this history of lynching in the post-Reconstruction South—the most comprehensive of its kind—the author has written what amounts to a Black Book of American race relations.”—The New Yorker “A powerfully written, admirably perceptive synthesis of the vast literature on lynching. It is the most comprehensive social history of this shameful subject in almost seventy years and should be recognized as a major addition to the bibliography of American race relations.”—David Levering Lewis “An important and courageous book, well written, meticulously researched, and carefully argued.”—The Boston Globe “You don’t really know what lynching was until you read Dray’s ghastly accounts of public butchery and official complicity.”—Time

The Lynching of Cleo Wright

The Lynching of Cleo Wright
Author: Dominic J. Capeci Jr.
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780813156460
Available:
Release: 2015-01-13
Editor: University Press of Kentucky
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

On January 20, 1942, black oil mill worker Cleo Wright assaulted a white woman in her home and nearly killed the first police officer who tried to arrest him. An angry mob then hauled Wright out of jail and dragged him through the streets of Sikeston, Missouri, before burning him alive. Wright's death was, unfortunately, not unique in American history, but what his death meant in the larger context of life in the United States in the twentieth-century is an important and compelling story. After the lynching, the U.S. Justice Department was forced to become involved in civil rights concerns for the first time, provoking a national reaction to violence on the home front at a time when the country was battling for democracy in Europe. Dominic Capeci unravels the tragic story of Wright's life on several stages, showing how these acts of violence were indicative not only of racial tension but the clash of the traditional and the modern brought about by the war. Capeci draws from a wide range of archival sources and personal interviews with the participants and spectators to draw vivid portraits of Wright, his victims, law-enforcement officials, and members of the lynch mob. He places Wright in the larger context of southern racial violence and shows the significance of his death in local, state, and national history during the most important crisis of the twentieth-century.

The Lynching of Ladies

The Lynching of Ladies
Author: Jo Ann Mason
Pages: 246
ISBN: 9781483686332
Available:
Release: 2013-10-01
Editor: Xlibris Corporation
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Lynching of Ladies is the first in a trilogy of memoirs about two best friends. After experiencing one traumatic experience after another, one dresses herself in tenacity and perseverance and the other in self-loathing and defeat. These ladies experience social, emotional, and physical lynchings throughout their young lives. When Casey tells Arianna, "Men go off to war, women go off to men there are casualties in both," a turning point begins. Both carry the broken pieces of their adolescence into adulthood, with disastrous results . . . until one day a healthy dose of self-esteem saves one of them in a life-altering way. These events do not happen without much wit and laughter. It is written for women who want to stop being the victim and become the victor. This is a self-help primer for women all over the world, regardless of social station or economic background. It is written to help stop "the lynching of ladies!" None of this happens without much wit and laughter.

The Lynching of Leo Frank

The Lynching of Leo Frank
Author: Harry Golden
Pages: 363
ISBN: NWU:35556003563871
Available:
Release: 1966
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The First Waco Horror

The First Waco Horror
Author: Patricia Bernstein
Pages: 264
ISBN: 9781585445448
Available:
Release: 2006-01-18
Editor: Texas A&M University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In 1916, in front of a crowd of ten to fifteen thousand cheering spectators watched as seventeen-year-old Jesse Washington, a retarded black boy, was publicly tortured, lynched, and burned on the town square of Waco, Texas. He had been accused and convicted in a kangaroo court for the rape and murder of a white woman. The city’s mayor and police chief watched Washington’s torture and murder and did nothing. Nearby, a professional photographer took pictures to sell as mementos of that day. The stark story and gory pictures were soon printed in The Crisis, the monthly magazine of the fledgling NAACP, as part of that organization’s campaign for antilynching legislation. Even in the vast bloodbath of lynchings that washed across the South and Midwest during the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Waco lynching stood out. The NAACP assigned a young white woman, Elisabeth Freeman, to travel to Waco to investigate, and report back. The evidence she gathered and gave to W. E. B. Du Bois provided grist for the efforts of the NAACP to raise national consciousness of the atrocities being committed and to raise funds to lobby antilynching legislation as well. In the summer of 1916, three disparate forces - a vibrant, growing city bursting with optimism on the blackland prairie of Central Texas, a young woman already tempered in the frontline battles for woman’s suffrage, and a very small organization of grimly determined “progressives” in New York City - collided with each other, with consequences no one could have foreseen. They were brought together irrevocably by the prolonged torture and public murder of Jesse Washington - the atrocity that became known as the Waco Horror. Drawing on extensive research in the national files of the NAACP, local newspapers and archives, and interviews with the descendants of participants in the events of that day, Patricia Bernstein has reconstructed the details of not only the crime but also its aftermath. She has charted the ways the story affected the development of the NAACP and especially the eventual success of its antilynching campaign. She searches for answers to the questions of how participating in such violence affected the lives of the mob leaders, the city officials who stood by passively, and the community that found itself capable of such abject behavior.

The Lynchings in Duluth

The Lynchings in Duluth
Author: Michael Fedo
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781681340142
Available:
Release: 2016-03-15
Editor: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

On the evening of June 15, 1920, in Duluth, Minnesota, three young black men, accused of the rape of a white woman, were pulled from their jail cells and lynched by a mob numbering in the thousands. Yet for years the incident was nearly forgotten. This updated, second edition of The Lynchings in Duluth includes a new preface by the author, additional research and notes, and suggestions for further reading. “This account of racial violence in the early twentieth century is a genuinely startling and illuminating contribution to our understanding of racial justice in the United States in the twenty-first. Many Americans have found it convenient to think that episodes like this come only from the Jim Crow–era Deep South. The Lynchings in Duluth is a powerful reminder of the broader American pattern.” James Fallows, The Atlantic “A chilling reconstruction of a 1920 racial tragedy. . . . Combining hour-by-hour, day-by-day narrative with expert scholarship based on interviews, suppressed documents and news reports, Fedo skillfully portrays Northern prejudice and violence.” Los Angeles Times “This tense book punches out a story of devastating fury. . . . As pointed as a Klansman’s cap, this book conveys the horror of mob action—and the disturbing truth that it knows no region.” Milwaukee Journal

The Lynching Tree

The Lynching Tree
Author: Michael Stein
Pages: 193
ISBN: 9781504028479
Available:
Release: 2016-02-16
Editor: Open Road Media
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A white man has been lynched two months before twenty-three-year-old Donald Gambell returns to his New Jersey hometown. As the first black member of the police force, Gambell learns the routines of his new work—the traffic stops and domestic quarrels, the bullying and bragging—from his partner Frank Butras, who refuses to discuss the murder that has left the town shaken. For Gambell, life near his father and sister is familiar in both its comforts and confusions, but his home has changed in ways he finds difficult to understand.

Lynched

Lynched
Author: Amy Kate Bailey,Stewart E. Tolnay
Pages: 296
ISBN: 9781469620886
Available:
Release: 2015-05-04
Editor: UNC Press Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

On July 9, 1883, twenty men stormed the jail in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, kidnapped Henderson Lee, a black man charged with larceny, and hanged him. Events like this occurred thousands of times across the American South in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, yet we know scarcely more about any of these other victims than we do about Henderson Lee. Drawing on new sources to provide the most comprehensive portrait of the men and women lynched in the American South, Amy Bailey and Stewart Tolnay's revealing profiles and careful analysis begin to restore the identities of--and lend dignity to--hundreds of lynching victims about whom we have known little more than their names and alleged offenses. Comparing victims' characteristics to those of African American men who were not lynched, Bailey and Tolnay identify the factors that made them more vulnerable to being targeted by mobs, including how old they were; what work they did; their marital status, place of birth, and literacy; and whether they lived in the margins of their communities or possessed higher social status. Assessing these factors in the context of current scholarship on mob violence and reports on the little-studied women and white men who were murdered in similar circumstances, this monumental work brings unprecedented clarity to our understanding of lynching and its victims.

Stranger Fruit

 Stranger Fruit
Author: Maria De Longoria
Pages: 196
ISBN: OCLC:613558894
Available:
Release: 2006
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This dissertation is a study focused on the sexual and racial dynamics that fostered an environment that allowed for, and even condoned the lynching of black women. By examining variables that affected black women's exclusive position in American society, it adds a new perspective to the rape/lynch theory. By exploring lynching through the eyes and experiences of black female lynching victims, the rape and lynching victim becomes one in the same. Organized in five chapters, Chapter One is an analysis of commonly held images and perceptions of black women that helped create an environment in which black women were not only acceptable targets of mob violence but also where their lynching was condoned. Chapter Two examines the history of sexual and physical abuse that black women experienced before and after Emancipation in the name of southern honor. Chapters Three and Four build on the discussion of the previous chapters with the investigations of the lynchings of Rosa Richardson and Marie Scott. In addition to analyzing the lynchings of the two women, Chapter Five focuses on how these lynchings were remembered by individuals and community.

Terror Flyers

Terror Flyers
Author: Kevin T Hall
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780253050168
Available:
Release: 2021-01-19
Editor: Indiana University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Terror Flyers examines the "lynch justice" (Lynchjustiz) committed against American airmen in Nazi Germany during World War II. Using engaging first-person accounts of downed pilots, as well as previously unused primary sources, Terror Flyers challenges the notion that such lynchings were exclusively the domain of Nazi party officials and soldiers. New evidence reveals ordinary German people executed Lynchjustiz as well. Initially occurring as a spontaneous reaction to the devastation of the Allied air campaign against the cities of the Third Reich, Lynchjustiz offered the Nazi regime a unique propaganda opportunity to harness the outrage of the German population. Fueled by inspiration from America's own history of the lynching of African Americans, Nazi propaganda exploited the very same imagery found in US publications to escalate the anger of the German people. Drawing heavily on the accounts of the downed airmen themselves, testimonies from the "flyer trials" held in Dachau during 1945–48, and rarely seen Nazi propaganda, Terror Flyers offers a new narrative of this previously overlooked aspect of the Allied campaign in Europe and suggests that at least 3,000 cases of lynch justice likely occurred between 1943 and 1945.

Living with Lynching

Living with Lynching
Author: Koritha Mitchell
Pages: 264
ISBN: 9780252093524
Available:
Release: 2011-10-01
Editor: University of Illinois Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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.

The Lynching Bee and Other Poems

The Lynching Bee  and Other Poems
Author: William Ellery Leonard
Pages: 84
ISBN: UOM:39015059405970
Available:
Release: 1920
Editor: Unknown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In this volume the poet writes about, in his words, "the ominous turmoil of the times." The first section, By Fire and Rope, deals with the topics of lynching and war. € The section opens with an epic poem describing in detail€the process of€a spectacle lynching or "lynching bee" staged by "twelve true men in pants and coats (the sort who pay their bills, and cast their votes ...).'' It is followed by a short poem about the well-known 1913€lynching of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager, in Atlanta, in which the poet cautions: "Ye hanged God's Justice, hanging him."