Cultural constructs that are detrimental to the unity and fairness of all are historically marked by social-political movements that cause an upheaval of old systems. During these tense and often conflictual movements, there are certain voices that stand out among the throng of dramatic and biased opinions. During the anti-lynching movement, Ida B. Wells was one of those voices. She utilized her journalistic capacity and position as author to spread her message of dissention against lynching and the unfair prosecution and deaths of African Americans. Her openly uncensored publications, ’Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in all its phases, and ‘The Red
In 1920, Lynching was very common. In order to understand why this was such a big problem, we need to look at the numbers of people who were lynched. From 1882 to 1962, almost 5,000 lynchings took place in the United States alone with about 70% of people who were lynched being black. Lynching started becoming a heavily used punishment among the African-American community in the 19th century. After the Civil War ended, there were financial issues in the country, all of which were blamed on the blacks that had recently been freed from slavery. It was speculated that people who were angry with blacks saw lynching as a way to relieve tension between the two groups of people. Because of the blatant aversion many people had towards black people, they were subject to many hate crimes. With the levels of violence as high as they where, protection was necessary, and Anti-Lynching laws would have been
Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America was written by Mamie Till-Mobley, a supporter of equal opportunities for different ethnicities. Christopher Benson, a writer and lawyer, assisted Mamie Till-Mobley as a co-author in her personal biography. Death of Innocence was published in the year 2003 by Random House in New York. This memoir has 290 pages, including seven pages of Christopher Benson’s personal experiences with Mamie Till-Mobley in the afterword. Death of Innocence is categorized as an adult nonfiction book. Mamie specifically wrote this book to tell her son’s story, representing hope and forgiveness, which revealed the sinister and illegal punishments of the south. She wanted to prevent this horrendous tragedy from happening to others. The purpose of the book was to describe the torment African Americans faced in the era of Jim Crow. It gives imagery through the perspective of a mother who faced hurt, but brought unity to the public, to stand up for the rights of equal treatment. This book tells how one event was part of the elimination of racial segregation. A murder brought unity to a public who were always stepped over.
"Southern Horrors and Other Writings " by Ida B. Wells (with an introduction by Jacqueline Jones Royster) focuses on the cruel acts of lynching and why it exists. Ida was a school teacher but dedicated most of her life fighting for social injustices for African American people. In the pamphlet "Lynch Law in all its Phases" Ida examines how African Americans were portrayed as a "bestial race", and brutalized as they became individualist.
In 1909 Ida B. Wells delivered the above mentioned speech at the NAACP’s first annual conference held in Atlanta, Georgia. The speech was and still is, deeply touching. Moreover, mere words alone are a far cry from living through the horrendous cruelty being played out on a daily basis. The horrific brutality proved that a number of people were disconnected to a simple conception of" love thy neighbor" while claiming to be children of God. It is wholly unfathomable the acts of depravity within the soul of another human. For the preceding generations these acts of the past make it almost impossible to comprehend. Ida B. Wells ' life was filled with unimaginable despair, frustration and injustice and became the voice for those who had suffered, which took a great deal of courage for a woman of her time. It is usually the plight and the fight of those oppressed to make the needed changes in society.
In the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome written by Dr.Joy DeGruy she explains how the past events in American history has lead to post traumatic slave syndrome. She explains that the way African Americans were treated during the slave era and after has had an everlasting effect on African Americans. The book goes on to describe how America has been denying its past and has not helped to integrated and level all the playing fields for African Americans. The book brings to light how we can try to contribute in making America a fair and equal place for all as most claim it to be.
In Ida B. Wells’ works Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases and A Red Record, Ida B. Wells argues against the lynching of African Americans of the time. Wells’ uses many strategies and techniques to make her arguments as convincing as possible throughout her works. She also uses clear language and well-structured sentences to make it clear what she is arguing. Ida B. Wells makes sure to use statistics and offers rebuttals to the opposing side’s point of view to strengthen her argument. Wells presents these arguments by isolating and clearly stating the problem, giving descriptive and specific examples, using statistics, and offering rebuttals.
Lastly, violence against black people was very prominent during the Jim Crow era. The statistics for the amounts of black deaths from violence is outrageous. Fremon wrote, “In 1890 until 1917, on average, two to three blacks in the South were illegally hanged, burned, or otherwise murdered every week” (Fremon 37). Two to three black people were killed every week. The amount of abuse was so much and was for random minor “crimes” and sometimes black were even falsely accused. Fremon also states that “whites lynched hundreds of African Americans every year” (Fremon 37). The amount of killing in a year was ridiculous and excessive. There was nothing black people could do about any of it at the time. Little things could get a colored person physically
The Short story, “The lynching of Jube Benson”, by the African-American writer Paul Laurence Dunbar, takes place in the southern parts of the USA in the 1900s, which is at the same time as the emancipation of the slaves. More accurately, the story takes place in Gordon Fairfax’s library, where three men were present; Handon Gay, who is an educated reporter, Gordon Fairfax, who is an library owner and Doctor Melville, who is a doctor. The author collocate these three men at jobs which is powerful in the society. The story is about a white narrator, Doctor Melville, who explains, to the two others, that he has been involved in a lynching of his black friend, Jube Benson. Unfortunately, false accusations were made against
The Union victory in the Civil War prompted the abolition of slavery and African American’s were granted freedom, along with rights that should have been there from the start, however, white supremacy overpowered in the South, forcing African Americans back into a state of slavery. The Reconstruction era, the postwar rebuilding of the South, proved to be an attempt towards change in the lives of African Americans but the opportunities were only available for a limited time.
In the early 1900s racism was still very much alive in Mississippi. Although the relationships of whites and blacks had come a long way in the sense that African Americans could live free lives, many still found their life was controlled by white people. For Essie Mae in the book, Coming of Age in Mississippi, she witnessed these scenarios to be true. Essie Mae was a young African American woman that was very well educated for her age and began to understand what type of environment she was growing up in. As events played out in her life she quickly realized the world to be hostile to all African Americans. In this story, it’s very clear of the tension that the opposite races are enduring and Essie Mae’s experiences during these times leave her confused. Essie Mae, growing up in the county of Wilkinson, experiences many heated incidences
If you’re a fan of baseball, in America or anywhere else in the world, you’ve heard the name Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson became a hero by overcoming racial barriers in American Baseball, therefore leading to the decline of the negro leagues, thus impacting our world today.
Within the 1920’s there were approximately around 3,496 and counting reported lynchings all over the south, In Alabama there were 361, Arkansas 492, Florida 313, Georgia 590, Kentucky 168, Louisiana 549, Mississippi 60,North Carolina 123, South Carolina 185, Tennessee 233, Texas 338, and Virginia 84 lynchings (Lynching in America). These are just some of the numbers introduced during the 1920’s for the reported lynchings. Lynching was used for public appeal for the people to show justice on the blacks and to punish them so the whites could return to “white supremacy”. At first lynching was only for slaves that tried to escape, it then turned into all blacks, then before lynching was illegal the mobs (such as the KKK and jim crow laws) would lynch different religions and races. The majority of the crimes the people were charged for were fake or over exaggerated, the people that were lynched did not receive a fair
“The Lynching” is a poem by Claude McKay. The poem is about a group of people who lynch a black man by hanging him. The setting of this work gives the idea to be taking place in a southern town because lynching was a “normal” occurrence during this time in history. Many people appear to not be angered or sickened with the sight of a hanging body. The women feel no compassion; the on looking children also took on the interest of this cruel act taking place. This way of taking somebodies life occurred often in the South. Being in the Deep South was extremely dangerous and frightening for anyone with black colored skin, whites had such hatred and aggression.
This incident caused Wells to begin her research into lynchings. She concluded that African Americans were lynched "for such social control reasons as failing to pay debts, not appearing to give way to whites, competing with whites economically, and being