The history of violence against African Americans in this country is so horrific as to be almost beyond belief. Anti-black violence was extremely prominent in the middle 19th century as well as the beginning 20th century. As blacks entered life after slavery with hope of better opportunities, they soon discovered that Reconstruction did not mean freedom. Racial equality seemed to constantly be a major problem in political and everyday life. Violence against African Americans occurred from the first days of Reconstruction but became far more organized and purposeful after 1867.
The Klu Klux Klan began in Tennessee in 1866 spreading rapidly through the South. Klansmen sought to keep blacks in subjection through terrorist actions. Harassments the homes of blacks, beatings, rapes, and murder became common as much as celebrated in many southern cities. The violence they displayed were no out-the-blue outburst of racism but shaped by social forces. The Klan believed that blacks would weaken their society and sought violence as a solution to remain politically and socially superior.
Lynching was also linked to the anti-black violence of 1889-1909. Over seventeen hundred were lynched during these times typically because whites felt threatened by an influx of migrant blacks in sparsely populated districts. Whites associated the deaths of blacks as maintaining social order over the black population. They were intimidated by the intelligence and power of the black man and instead of embracing this, decided to suppress or eliminate the “competition.” Lethal mob violence purpose was to ultimately stabilize the white class structure and preserve the privileged status of the white supremacy.
Anti-black violence is known as the most inhuman chapters in the history in America by white people. This unit of post Reconstruction Afro-American history will examine anti-Black violence from the 1880s to the 1950s....