Without Fear or Shame

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Without Fear or Shame
James W. Clarke, strongly deliberates the lynching epidemic of the tensioned south during the late nineteenth century between the white supremacies and the newly emancipated blacks. Clarke explains that, “Before emancipation, lynching was primarily a frontier phenomenon that occurred when sheriffs, judges, juries, and jails were far removed by space and time from wrongdoing and a demand for swift retribution.”(271) Although lynching was not new to the south, it was becoming a new symbolization of racial oppression. Clarke also states that the targets for lynching were the freed black men as oppose to those who were still enslaved. Slaves were very much protected by the owners and seen as valuable investments. Although many argue that lynching was an act of punishment for wrongdoings, in actuality it was mostly used as an excuse for racial injustice. To add credibility to this argument, Clarke uses several graphs and charts from the Department of Records and Research of Tuskeegee, Southern newspapers, student of Fisk University narratives, recordings, photographs, and criminal cases, among more. There were many recorded lynchings throughout the south and yet more continued. One man by the name of Sam Hose was lynched in Palmetto, Georgia for openly admitting to killing his employer over an argument on his wages. Hose was slowly burned to death after having his fingers, toes and tongue amputated. “Public interest was so aroused that special excursion trains were scheduled to carry curious spectators from Atlanta.” (269) another black man named Henry Lowery was also burned to death for shooting and killing his employer and the employer’s daughter due to an argument over wages he owed him. Clarke cites a reporter from the Memphis Press whom had attended the event and said that, “more than 500 persons stood by and looked on while the negro was slowly burned to a crisp.” (270) these were among the many lynchings that occurred throughout this...
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