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time and distance overcome

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It was very tough for me to view the images in the video by James Allen. The raw brutality and pure evil and pain could be felt through the postcards. It was one of the most disturbing set of photographs I have ever had to see. It is hard for me to fathom that so many people could be filled with that much hate. It was not just the graphicness of the lynchings that were disturbing, it was the pure look of apathy on the faces of the white men, women and sometimes even children surrounding the hanged body. It is terrible and almost impossible to think that this is a part of our past as a country. I knew that these atrocities happened, but I had never seen them. It might be a trite phrase, but “a picture is worth a thousand words”. One can read about lynchings in history books, essays or diaries like the one by Solomon Northup, but one cannot possibly get an idea of what it was like until they see a photograph of it. As terrible as the lynchings were, as they are a part of our history, I believe that people need to see these images. We can only hope that we will never revert back to the animalistic state that we were in during that time.
These images relate to the essay by Eula Biss, “Time and Distance Overcome” not just because Biss talks about lynchings in her essay; that was not the main topic. Biss finds a parallel between African-Americans and pollution of innocent things. Lynchings occurred in trees and bridges before telephone poles were invented and erected. The telephone poles were not welcome when they were first introduced to the public. People brutalized them without punishment. Even when laws were created in an effort to prevent this, people still attacked the innocent telephone poles. African-Americans were not welcome and they were attacked brutally. Even after laws were created to prevent these horrific acts from happening, people continued to kill and brutalize the African-Americans. Biss’ ability to find deep, meaningful connections not only establishes herself as a good writer, but it makes the reader think much deeper than they would have before.

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