The Lynch Mobs, And The Anti-Lynching Movement

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"Every negro in the South knows that he is under a kind of sentence of death; he does not know when his turn will come, it may never come, but it may also be any time" remarked John Dollard regarding the uncertainty in many African-Americans minds if they would live to see tomorrow or end up just another victim of racial violence. Between the years 1882 and 1951, 4,730 people were lynched in the United States (Robert A. Gibson, 1), and many died from other forms of racial violence and race riots. Lynching and Racial Violence effected the civil rights era through the lives of African-Americans, Lynch Mobs, and the Anti-Lynching Campaign. Many African-American's lives changed in the last decade of the 19th century due to lynching's or the …show more content…

Most mobs were composed of around 12-100's of people usually poor, illiterate whites whose economic status was similar to an African-Americans. They saw African-American men as competitors. Some higher status whites were involved and many politicians were in favor of "lynch-law" (Robert A Gibson, 1). Many lynch law members saw lynching as a protection of "The Southern Way of Life" (Fitzhugh Brundage, 167). Lynching was a community affair and state authorities often didn’t punish mobs. Many reasons lynch mobs lynched was due to poverty, economic and social fear, low education, and boredom of everyday life (Robert A Gibson, 1). The mob serves as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner so anything fly's, the process yields momentary passions and expedient objectives. Mobs used sadistic tactics such as burning, torture, or dismemberment to excite a "festive atmosphere" for onlookers. The torture that lynch victims experienced would be unimaginable to us today and hard to even imagine. Many white families would bring their children, newspapers advertised, and railroad agents sold excursion tickets to announce lying sights (Robert L Zangrando, 1). Very few whites showed any emotion or horror to these spectacles of violence. It was common to see white families with children gawking and cheering at the hanging and charred bodies. Mark Twain once said that about every white Southerner celebrated mob violence. Lynching was a crude and brutal tool used for white supremacy, used by many lynch mobs (Fitzhugh Brundage,4). Some tortures included cutting off of the fingers, toes, ears, and genitals which would be sold to the crowd as souvenirs (Robert L Zangrando, 1). Many mobs lynched their victims due to major accusations of murder or rape. On some occasions if a mob couldn’t find their victim they would choose a random replacement to serve the punishment (Fitzhugh Brundage, 48). In the south white on black

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