An article in the Tampa Bay Times reflects on the legacy of Judge Lynch.
It is important to remember that the hangings, burnings and dismemberments of black American men, women and children that were relatively common in this country between the Civil War and World War II were often public events. They were sometimes advertised in newspapers and drew hundreds and even thousands of white spectators, including elected officials and leading citizens who were so swept up in the carnivals of death that they posed with their children for keepsake photographs within arm’s length of mutilated black corpses.
These episodes of horrific, communitywide violence have been erased from civic memory in lynching-belt states like Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.
The article goes on to discuss the efforts of the Equal Justice Initiative to ensure that the memory of those deeds are not obliterated, however much preserving them may discomfit some Southern white folks who long for the Good Old Days, but will not mention just what it was that makes them think those old days were so good.
Unlike another much-derided New York Times story, which neglected to mention just who did the lynching, the Tampa Bay Times article* does not flinch from identifying the culprits.
Give it a read, then follow the link to the Equal Justice Initiative and read the report or download the Executive Summary (PDF).
*In fairness to the NYT, I think the TBT article may have also appeared there. The TBT does not credit its origin.