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Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America by James H. Madison
Publication Date: New York: Palgrave, 2001
On a hot summer night in 1930, three black teenagers accused of murdering a young white man and raping his girlfriend waited for justice in an Indiana jail. A mob dragged them from the jail and lynched two of them. No one in Marion, Indiana was ever punished for the murders. In this gripping account, James H. Madison refutes the popular perception that lynching was confined to the South, and clarifies 20th century America's painful encounters with race, justice, and memory.
Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement by Devery S. Anderson; Foreward by Julian Bond
Publication Date: Jackson, MS : University Press of Mississippi, 2017
Anderson utilizes documents that had never been available to previous researchers, such as the trial transcript, long-hidden depositions by key players in the case, and interviews given by Carolyn Bryant to the FBI in 2004 (her first in fifty years), as well as other recently revealed FBI documents. Anderson also interviewed family members of the accused killers, most of whom agreed to talk for the first time, as well as several journalists who covered the murder trial in 1955. Till's death and the acquittal of his killers by an all-white jury set off a firestorm of protests that reverberated all over the world and spurred on the civil rights movement. This book will stand as the definitive work on Emmett Till for years to come.
The Lynching of Emmett Till by Christopher Metress
Publication Date: Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2002
With a collection of more than one hundred documents spanning almost half a century, Christopher Metress retells the story of Emmett Till's lynching in a unique and daring way. Juxtaposing news accounts and investigative journalism with memoirs, poetry, and fiction, this documentary narrative not only includes material by such prominent figures as Hodding Carter, Chester Himes, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Eldridge Cleaver, Bob Dylan, John Edgar Wideman, Lewis Nordan, and Michael Eric Dyson, but it also contains several previously unpublished works--among them a newly discovered Langston Hughes poem--and a generous selection of hard-to-find documents never before collected. Exploring the means by which historical events become part of the collective social memory, The Lynching of Emmett Till is both an anthology that tells an important story and a narrative about how we come to terms with key moments in history.
Ida: A Sword among Lions - Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching by Paula J. Giddings
Publication Date: New York: Amistad, 2008
Paula Giddings has written an important and influential biography of Ida B. Wells--crusading journalist and pioneer in the fight for women's suffrage and against segregation and lynchings. Ida B. Wells was born into slavery and raised in the Victorian age yet emerged, through her fierce political battles and progressive thinking, as the first "modern" black women in the nation's history. Wells began her activist career when she tried to integrate a first-class railway car in Memphis. After being thrown bodily off the car, she wrote about the incident for Black Baptist newspapers, thus beginning her career as a journalist. But her most abiding fight would be the one against lynching, a crime in which she saw all the themes she held most dear coalesce: sexuality, race, and the law.
A Deed So Accursed: Lynching in Mississippi and South Carolina, 1881–1940 by Terence Finnegan
Publication Date: Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013
A comprehensive study of lynching in Mississippi and South Carolina, A Deed So Accursed reveals the economic and social circumstances that spawned lynching and explores the interplay between extralegal violence and political and civil rights. Finnegan's research shows that lynching rates depended on factors other than caste conflict and the interaction of race and southern notions of honor. Although lynching supported the ends of white supremacy, many mobs lynched more for private retaliation than for communal motives, which explains why mobs varied greatly in size, organization, behavior, and purpose. The resistance of African Americans was vigorous and sustained and took on a variety of forms, but depending on the circumstances, black resistance could sometimes provoke rather than deter lynching. Ultimately, Finnegan shows how out of the tragedy of lynching came the triumph of the civil rights movement, which was built upon the organizational efforts of African American anti-lynching campaigns.
Lynching Beyond Dixie: American Mob Violence Outside the South by Ed. by Michael J. Pfeifer
Publication Date: Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013
In recent decades, scholars have explored much of the history of mob violence in the American South, especially in the years after Reconstruction. However, the lynching violence that occurred in American regions outside the South, where hundreds of persons, including Hispanics, whites, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans died at the hands of lynch mobs, has received less attention. This collection of essays by prominent and rising scholars fills this gap by illuminating the factors that distinguished lynching in the West, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic.
Fire in a Canebrake: The Last Mass Lynching in America by Laura Wexler
Publication Date: New York: Scribner, 2004
July 25, 1946. In Walton County, Georgia, a mob of white men commit one of the most heinous racial crimes in America's history: the shotgun murder of four black sharecroppers -- two men and two women -- at Moore's Ford Bridge. Fire in a Canebrake, the term locals used to describe the sound of the fatal gunshots, is the story of our nation's last mass lynching on record. More than a half century later, the lynchers' identities still remain unknown. Drawing from interviews, archival sources, and uncensored FBI reports, acclaimed journalist and author Laura Wexler takes readers deep into the heart of Walton County, bringing to life the characters who inhabited that infamous landscape -- from sheriffs to white supremacists to the victims themselves -- including a white man who claims to have been a secret witness to the crime.