The Horrors of Lynching

Topics: Racism, Race, Ku Klux Klan, White American, Black people, Puerto Rico / Pages: 7 (1732 words) / Published: Nov 6th, 2009
Take a step up on the platform, and breathe in one of your last breaths. Your eyes involuntarily start tearing up, though you don’t mean to look weak. You didn’t do anything wrong; you know that. The color of your skin is something you can’t help. At this point, the noose is placed over your head. The platform drops out from under you, and everything goes black.
This scenario was all too common for African Americans all throughout the United States in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. More specifically, 4,743 innocent African Americans were killed during this time period (“Lynching Statistics”). This atrocity only furthered African American resentment towards their white oppressors, which made their rebellion a very violent affair.
Many factors contributed to the mass lynches that were primarily for African Americans. One of these reasons was that the newly freed African American slaves posed a new threat to white women. In hopes of protecting their loved ones, white men automatically assume the absolute worst about African American men, especially if said white man sees the African American man speaking or merely looking at a white woman (“Lynching”).
For example, in 1955, an African-American teenager, Emmett Till, from Chicago, was murdered while visiting family in Money, Mississippi; a town with a population of 55. Till 's only offense: trying to flirt with a store owner 's European-American wife due to a dare from his friends. Four days later, his beaten, unclothed, and dead body was found in the banks of the Tallahatchie River, nearby. The store owner (the European woman’s husband) and his half-brother were the culprits. Both of these men had no consequences for their violent acts of hatred for a stranger merely speaking to their loved one, who had no harm due to the conversation (Steelwater).
It was all too common that immediate assumptions were implied that African Americans had the intentions of harming or raping the white woman (“Lynching”). In the



Cited: Publishers, Inc., 2009. Print. Wood, Amy. Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America , 1890-1940. The University of North Carolina Press, 2009. Print.

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