1 Lynching’s


Jerrion De’Vonta Shell University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Educational Policy 630-001 Professor Michael Bonds Monday, April 9th, 2012

During the late 19th century. It is a practice that was committed. This paper will discuss policies that were intended to protect people from lynching but failed to do so. we will discuss present day lynching’s. This paper will discuss the history of lynching. It will then go into the lynching’s of America. supposedly. in the name of justice.2 Lynching’s Abstract Lynching is different from regular murder or assault because it was a mutilation/killing that is committed outside the boundaries of due process by a mob who ratifies revenge for an offense. But the motivations for these killings were unfamiliar to the themes of justice and honor. Finally. . lynching frequently enjoyed the approval of the public.

........3 Lynching’s Table of Contents Abstract……………………………………………………………….2 Table of Contents………………………………………....3 The History of Lynching………………………………………………4-5 Lynching’s in America………………………………………………..10 Conclusion…………………………………………………………….......5-8 Policies Intended to Prevent Lynching…………………………………8-10 Present Day……………………………………………………………....10 ...

Lynch had a habit of holding illegal trials of local lawbreakers in his front yard. Whites were sometimes lynched in southern states. Those targeted individuals were accused of rape. The most widely known manifestation and the one that is most commonly focused on are the lynching’s of Black Americans in the Jim Crow South. this practice became known as simply "lynching". 2011. which was usually the case. Over time. lynching was a separate practice apart from slavery.4 Lynching’s The History of Lynching Lynching is a derivative term that was taken from the name of Col. . Lynch took to whipping the suspects while they were tied to a tree in front of his house. Charles Lynch who was a landowner in Virginia in 1790. Vigilante groups were common during the last half of the 19th century and were fed by a strong notion that the existing laws were not functioning properly resulting in criminals. Lynching’s have occurred throughout American History. murder. jury and executioner. lynching is defined by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as an extralegal killing committed by three or more individuals who claimed their murderous actions were intended to uphold justice or tradition. predominately those of white counties. Upon conviction of the accused. in which citizens would assume the role of judge. across geographical regions. p. According to Bailey and Snedker (2011). especially black criminals. and have targeted individuals from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. or both. The term "lynching" refers only to the concept of vigilantism. typically in sparsely populated. being set free at the expense of the public. 845). Scholars across the board agree that the movement of terror waged against American Blacks which was intended to suppress political participation and economic independence (Bailey and Snedker. Although the mistreatment of slaves was common throughout the early part of the 19th century.

5 Lynching’s Lynching became almost a necessary practice "that served to give dramatic warning to all black inhabitants that the iron clad system of white supremacy was not to be challenged by deed. Blacks were lynched for refusing to “stay in their place”. politically. the Black community was made vulnerable to these hideous murderous mobs (Browne-Marshall. Members of a lynch mob became entangled into a brutal emotion of racism. lynching was an attempt to prevent their ascension. For Blacks in America. the victim was most often white. Blacks were lynched while attempting to escape the racial persecution of the South by migrating North. Black men were lynched for disputing with a White man. During this time. 2007. as well suffered from the rope. 2007. 2012). Without the equal protection of the laws. In the deep South. This killing by torture became a device of control that involved Black women and children and foreign nationals as well as black men (Browne-Marshall. p 170). it would be improper to say that lynching was only used against blacks. p 170). thus forcing a perpetual labor class regulated to America’s bottom rung socially. was developed for reasons other than a form of additional justice. and at times in a greater number than blacks. Lynching’s in America Lynching became a social phenomenon. In the West. most often the victim was black. word or even thought" (Gado. 2007. It seems as if those who would become victims of such horrific murders was determined by the geographical location of the lynching/ where it took place rather than the victim's offense. Whites. and economically (Browne-Marshall. p 176). A lynch mob has as its goal subjugating the victim and spreading terror. lynching. According to Gado (2012). when used against Blacks. Lynching was the roughest form of confrontation to Black progression. attempting to register to vote. Whites attacked Blacks randomly or based on feud. . However. Even though many blacks died at the hands of many whites though lynching.

a thirteen-year-old girl. Supreme court affirmed the lower court allowing the verdict to stand. On August 17th.S. Leo M. According to Browne-Marshall (2007) Mobs used lynching as a punishment for Black who violated the racial divisions sanctioned by Plessey. Although Blacks have long been the main targets of lynching. Frank was in recovery due to a fellow prisoner slicing his throat. Georgia at which Phagan was an employee. Frank was removed from the courthouse for fear of an acquittal would lead to mob violence. Mob violence and terrorism became an outlet for White frustration and jealousy in rural communities. Frank. There they hung him from a tree near the home of Phagan. Frank supervised a pencil factory in Atlanta. 2007. The U. 2007. No one was convicted for this crime (Browne-Marshall. Phagan’s body was found in the basement of the factory.the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole gave Leo Frank a posthumous pardon” (p. He was forced inside of a car and driven to the hometown of Mary Phagan. 175). Plessey vindicated the mob’s action by supporting the notion that whites hated blacks too much to control their own actions (pg. Frank was convicted of the crime. The Georgia Supreme Court upheld the verdict. Browne-Marshall (2007) “In Frank v. Photographs show the approval the approval of Whites: women. 177). 1915. 177). a Jewish defendant. . p. Mangum. During the reading of the verdict. He appealed saying that the mob had an influence on the juror’s decision. lynch mobs also murdered Whites. 178). testifying against a White man.6 Lynching’s unpopularity. According to Browne-Marshall (2007) “In 1986. self-defense. asking a white woman in marriage and peeping in a window. Governor Frank Slaton sentenced Frank to life in prison. p. was awaiting retrial in the rape and murder of Mary Phagan.171). a mob of 25 men stormed in the prison. In spirit. men. Angry mobs made hostile statements about Frank. when he became the victim of a lynching” (pg. children and elders standing next to the mutilated body of the Black person who forgot their “place” the bottom (Browne-Marshall.

if there was a mob. On September 6. A Black man was lynched after he refused to dance when ordered to do so by a white man” (pg. 1861 in Milwaukee a crowd of 50 to 75 Irishmen forced their way inside of a jail a seized a man named Marshall Clarke. a black woman was raped and lynched after the lynch mob could not locate her son to lynch. seeking to avenge crimes against “countrymen” in the larger context of the Irish community’s familiarity with Old World practices of communal violence and its perception if its marginalization in American public life. Clark and another Black American. 176). Well off Blacks were lynched by Whites because they were jealous of Black prosperity. Nothern Irish Catholics turned to racial lynching as they sought to reject Republican racial egalitarianism and to reassert racial hierarchy. James Shelton had exchanged words and blows with two Irishmen after took offense to the two Black . the Irish Catholic community acted out of a sense of racial difference and white supremacy shaped by Democratic party politics that linked Irish workers and Southern slaveholders in common defense of racial hierarchy. “In Columbus. Throughout time. According to Browne-Marshall (2007). In war time events that paralleled on a smaller scale Southern whites’ resorted to collective racial violence against emancipated African Americans during Reconstruction. The racial lynching’s performed by Irish Americans evinced profound ethnic solidarity. lynching intensified in the north as well as the South. Lynching’s in Milwaukee and Newburgh indicate how the sectional crisis and the Civil War destabilized and reconfigured northern political culture and social relations. the blood of a black person was going to be had. Mississippi. The true motives of lynching were usually economic or political. In Milwaukee and Newburgh.7 Lynching’s In most cases the lynching of Black men and women took place with little provocation or evidence of wrong doing. It didn’t matter if you were associated with the event or not.

2007. The Supreme Court tried a Sherriff in Tennessee for assisting in the capture of a prisoner. It was later defeated by the Senate filibuster of Southern Democrats.S v Shipp.180). During the altercation. law enforcement were actually associated in the murders. On January 23. Later. Black women who fought against White rapist were lynched. Policies Intended to Prevent Lynching George White. Black women were raped and then lynched. White lynch mobs attacked Blacks with freedom. The mob began preparing and discussing the lynching openly. Racial hatred was considered a natural response to racial interaction. Shelton fatally stabbed one of the Irishmen. Thus.lynching bill in 1918. . 1906. we have U. The bill was purposely stalled in the House Judiciary Committee. He was dragged to the fire house a predominately Irish community where he was questioned and then hung from a pile driver. some carrying away pieces of the rope as mementos of the event. a Black Congressman introduced the first anti lynching bill in 1900(Browne-Marshall. Living in the intimidation produced by White lynch mobs became a way of life for Blacks in America. Thousands flocked to see the body. men and children. Law enforcement offered little or no protection against the lynching of Black women. In certain cases. a White Democrat by the name of Leonidas Dyer proposed an anti. Federal and state courts offered little protection. law enforcement relinquished its responsibility to stop a mob from assaulting Blacks. Through the help and support of the NAACP the bill was passed by the House of Representatives in 1922. p. Nevada Taylor was raped on her way home from work on a very late night. Shelton was able to escape the mob but Clarke was dragged from the jail and brutally beaten along the way.8 Lynching’s Americans interaction with white women on the street. According to Browne-Marshall (2007) In the one and only case. Too often.

There was no appeal even attempted to be made.S. Johnson was convicted of the crime and was sentenced to death. In 1935 an anti-lynching bill was proposed by two U. Johnson was drug to a nearby bridge where he was hung twice and shot dozens of time. The Supreme Court help Shipp and other in contempt for not obeying orders in the protection of Jonson until the court had reviewed his case. When the town got word of the telegram they went into an uproar. He argued that he was at work and actually had witnesses to verify his alibi. p. she didn’t even know if he was black or white. He was able to have the execution postponed until Justice Harlan was able to review the case. That night they went an attacked the jail. Shipp and the other defendants were given 90 days in prison. Presidents such as Warren G. Sheriff Shipp arrested a Black man by the name of Ed Johnson. Thus we have Black Americans who began to develop their own campaigns against lynching. Women such as Mary Church Terrell and Ida B Well-Barnett were joined by many other in their protest against lynching and racial discrimination. Johnson was still a dead man walking. 2007. The U. a White woman.9 Lynching’s Taylor. Justice sent a telegram to Sheriff Shipp letting him know that Johnson was to be protected.S. Roosevelt refused to take any action towards getting anti-lynching legislation. 180). Later. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. When the lynch mob had formed. Senators by the name of Edward Costigan and Robert F Wagner (Browne-Marshall. she didn’t know how to describe him. He was never identified or accused of the rape. Senate refused to pass federal anti-lynching legislation and local anti-lynching . Justice Marshall was outraged that Shipp would allow Johnson to be attacked. That is when Noah Pardon a prominent Black lawyer decided to step in. never seen her attacker. Harding. he actually had the protection of the law enforcement on his side. Even if he was the wrong man.

Conclusion Lynching arose from the ashes of a ruthless and costly war that put brother against brother and father against son. 182). According to Hill (2011). . Riots and lynching’s continued on for years but they did begin to die down with no assistance from the law. a period of twenty five years. Texas. was tied to a pick-up truck. p. In 2005. he will be eligible for parole in 2038. On June 7th James Byrd Jr. empowering the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute unsolved murderers and acts of racial violence during the civil right era. arms. And between the years 1880 and 1905. by far the most extensive series of unsolved murders in American history.10 Lynching’s laws were never enforced. One of them received a life sentence. Congress approved the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act. not one person was ever convicted of any crime associated with these killings. the United States Senate officially apologized for failing to pass anti-lynching legislation. and other parts of his body were scattered along the highway (BrowneMarshall. head and genitalia. Present Day The last reported modern lynching took place in 1998. was dragged over two miles to his death in Jasper. 2007. His skin. In 2008. James Byrd Jr. his throat was cut before they dragged him across the country roads. blood. The Civil War left a trail of blood and bitterness that twisted its way through consecutive generations and set the stage for a fury of so called mob justice that killed thousands of men. women and children. Three White men who were linked with a White supremacist group were tried and convicted. Two of the men who were trying to become a part of the organization received the death penalty. most of them black. Lynchings are.

Lynching and the making of modern america. J. Pfeifer. Reviews in American History. (2010). M. M. and american society. J. Carnival of death: Lynching in america.11 Lynching’s Bibliography Allen. Retrieved from http://www.trutv. G. 55(3). .html Hill.. (2007). Gado. law. The northern united states and genisis of racial lynching: The lynching of african americans in the civil war. 39. Browne-Marshall. (2011). New York: Taylor & Francis Group. K. Race. & Littlefield.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/mass/lynching/index_1. American Quarterly. The Journal of American History. J. (2012). 621-632. On looking: Lynching photographs and legacies of lynching after 9/11. (2003). 652-659. 457-478.

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