Living with Lynching

The Left of Black interview with author Koritha Mitchell begins at 14:00. An interview with Koritha Mitchell at The Ohio Channel.

Author: Koritha Mitchell

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 9780252093524

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 264

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Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890–1930 demonstrates that popular lynching plays were mechanisms through which African American communities survived actual and photographic mob violence. Often available in periodicals, lynching plays were read aloud or acted out by black church members, schoolchildren, and families. Koritha Mitchell shows that African Americans performed and read the scripts in community settings to certify to each other that lynch victims were not the isolated brutes that dominant discourses made them out to be. Instead, the play scripts often described victims as honorable heads of household being torn from model domestic units by white violence. In closely analyzing the political and spiritual uses of black theatre during the Progressive Era, Mitchell demonstrates that audiences were shown affective ties in black families, a subject often erased in mainstream images of African Americans. Examining lynching plays as archival texts that embody and reflect broad networks of sociocultural activism and exchange in the lives of black Americans, Mitchell finds that audiences were rehearsing and improvising new ways of enduring in the face of widespread racial terrorism. Images of the black soldier, lawyer, mother, and wife helped readers assure each other that they were upstanding individuals who deserved the right to participate in national culture and politics. These powerful community coping efforts helped African Americans band together and withstand the nation's rejection of them as viable citizens.

Beyond the Living Dead

Without Sanctuary, a grisly record documenting many of the photos taken as souvenirs by whites who attended and participated in lynchings in the United States.32 The posse in Night look like a hunting party, which, as Amy Louise Wood ...

Author: Bruce Peabody

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9781476678375

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 221

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In 1968, George Romero's film Night of the Living Dead premiered, launching a growing preoccupation with zombies within mass and literary fiction, film, television, and video games. Romero's creativity and enduring influence make him a worthy object of inquiry in his own right, and his long career helps us take stock of the shifting interest in zombies since the 1960s. Examining his work promotes a better understanding of the current state of the zombie and where it is going amidst the political and social turmoil of the twenty-first century. These new essays document, interpret, and explain the meaning of the still-budding Romero legacy, drawing cross-disciplinary perspectives from such fields as literature, political science, philosophy, and comparative film studies. Essays consider some of the sources of Romero's inspiration (including comics, science fiction, and Westerns), chart his influence as a storyteller and a social critic, and consider the legacy he leaves for viewers, artists, and those studying the living dead.

From Slave Cabins to the White House

" Tracing how African Americans define and redefine success in a nation determined to deprive them of it, Mitchell plumbs the works of Frances Harper, Zora Neale Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison, Michelle Obama, and others.

Author: Koritha Mitchell

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 9780252052200

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

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Koritha Mitchell analyzes canonical texts by and about African American women to lay bare the hostility these women face as they invest in traditional domesticity. Instead of the respectability and safety granted white homemakers, black women endure pejorative labels, racist governmental policies, attacks on their citizenship, and aggression meant to keep them in "their place." Tracing how African Americans define and redefine success in a nation determined to deprive them of it, Mitchell plumbs the works of Frances Harper, Zora Neale Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, Toni Morrison, Michelle Obama, and others. These artists honor black homes from slavery and post-emancipation through the Civil Rights era to "post-racial" America. Mitchell follows black families asserting their citizenship in domestic settings while the larger society and culture marginalize and attack them, not because they are deviants or failures but because they meet American standards. Powerful and provocative, From Slave Cabins to the White House illuminates the links between African American women's homemaking and citizenship in history and across literature.

A Pedagogy of Anticapitalist Antiracism

But we also find an account of the pain of living in such a way, of living with lynching as spectacle, as part of a cultural and racial act of solidarity among whites, and yet against their own conscience, their humanity.

Author: Zachary A. Casey

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9781438463070

Category: Education

Page: 236

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Argues that the economic system itself is culpable in maintaining our oppressive educational status quo. Through an analysis of whiteness, capitalism, and teacher education, A Pedagogy of Anticapitalist Antiracism sheds light on the current conditions of public education in the United States. We have created an environment wherein market-based logics of efficiency, lowering costs, and increasing returns have worked to disadvantage those populations most in need of educational opportunities that work to combat poverty. This book traces the history of whiteness in the United States with an explicit emphasis on the ways in which the economic system of capitalism functions to maintain historical practices that function in racist ways. Practitioners and researchers alike will find important insights into the ways that the history of white racial identity and capitalism in the United States impact our present reality in schools. Casey concludes with a discussion of “revolutionary hope” and possibilities for resistance to the barrage of dehumanizing reforms and privatization engulfing much of the contemporary educational landscape. “This book is groundbreaking. It stands alone in its sophisticated use and explanation of theory, praxis, and their interrelationship in the field of critical whiteness studies.” — Jeremy N. Price, author of Against the Odds: The Meaning of School and Relationships in the Lives of Six Young African-American Men

Lynching

112 Little material on black migration and on response to whites' actions suggests that African Americans living in Dixie lived in general fear of lynching. Mobs did not carry out pogroms but instead focused on the one or a few ...

Author: Robert W. Thurston

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 1409409082

Category: History

Page: 427

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Addressing one of the most controversial and emotive issues of American history, this book presents a thorough re-examination of the background, dynamics and decline of American lynching. It argues that collective homicide in the US cannot be properly understood solely through a discussion of the unsettled southern political situation after 1865, but must be seen against a global conversation about changing cultural meanings of 'race', as well as concepts of imperialism, gender, sexuality and 'civilization'.

Lynched

Assessing these factors in the context of current scholarship on mob violence and reports on the little-studied women and white men who were murdered in similar circumstances, this monumental work brings unprecedented clarity to our ...

Author: Amy Kate Bailey

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 9781469620886

Category: Social Science

Page: 296

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On July 9, 1883, twenty men stormed the jail in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana, kidnapped Henderson Lee, a black man charged with larceny, and hanged him. Events like this occurred thousands of times across the American South in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, yet we know scarcely more about any of these other victims than we do about Henderson Lee. Drawing on new sources to provide the most comprehensive portrait of the men and women lynched in the American South, Amy Bailey and Stewart Tolnay's revealing profiles and careful analysis begin to restore the identities of--and lend dignity to--hundreds of lynching victims about whom we have known little more than their names and alleged offenses. Comparing victims' characteristics to those of African American men who were not lynched, Bailey and Tolnay identify the factors that made them more vulnerable to being targeted by mobs, including how old they were; what work they did; their marital status, place of birth, and literacy; and whether they lived in the margins of their communities or possessed higher social status. Assessing these factors in the context of current scholarship on mob violence and reports on the little-studied women and white men who were murdered in similar circumstances, this monumental work brings unprecedented clarity to our understanding of lynching and its victims.

Lives and Times

a Though lynching was among the topics that she addressed , it did not become the focus of her life's work until 1892 . Ida was on business in Mississippi when the event that changed the course of her life occurred in her hometown of ...

Author: Blaine T. Browne

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0742561941

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 334

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Lives and Times is a biographical reader designed to acquaint students with major issues in American history through the lives of individuals, prominent and otherwise, whose activities and ideas were crucial in shaping the course of the nation's history. Employing a narrative style, each volume consists of thirteen chapters in which the lives of two individuals are examined in the broader context of major historical themes. Readers will find not only a diversity of individuals profiled, but also themes spanning political, economic, social, cultural, intellectual and military history. This combined biographical/thematic approach provides the reader with more extensive biographical information and a fuller examination of key issues than is commonly offered in core texts. Each chapter also offers study questions and a bibliography. Also Available: Lives and Times: Individuals and Issues in American History: To 1877 by Blaine T. Browne and Robert C. Cottrell

Lynching to Belong

The letter writer , Dr. J. N. Johnson , argued that far from abusing their workers by lynching them , white residents of Brazos County instead enjoyed close personal relationships with African Americans , especially those living and ...

Author: Cynthia Skove Nevels

Publisher: Texas A&M University Press

ISBN: 1585445894

Category: History

Page: 208

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Thousands of black men died violently at the hands of mobs in the post–Civil War South. But in Brazos County, Texas, argues Cynthia Nevels, five such deaths in particular point to an emerging social phenomenon of the time: the desire of newly arrived European immigrants to assert their place in society, and the use of racially motivated violence to achieve that end. Driven by economics and the forces of history, the Italian, Irish, and Czech immigrants to this rich agricultural region were faced with the necessity of figuring out where they fit in a culture that had essentially two categories: white and black. In many ways, the newcomers realized, they belonged in neither position. In the end, they found ways to resolve the ambiguity by taking advantage of and sometimes participating directly in the South’s most brutal form of racial domination. For each of the immigrant groups caught up in the violence, the deaths of black men helped to establish racial identity and to bestow the all-important privileges of whiteness. This compelling and superbly written study will appeal to students and scholars of social and racial history, both regional and national.

Living through the Hoop

For an examination of the historical patterns of racial violence in the South, see Stewart E. Tolnay and E. M. Beck, A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995).

Author: Reuben A. Buford May

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814795617

Category: Social Science

Page: 243

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Visit the author's YouTube channel! When high school basketball player LeBron James was selected as the top pick in the National Basketball Association draft of 2003, the hopes of a half-million high school basketball players soared. If LeBron could go straight from high school to the NBA, why couldn’t they? Such is the allure of basketball for so many young African American men. Unfortunately, the reality is that their chances of ever playing basketball at the professional, or even college, level are infinitesimal. In Living Through the Hoop, Reuben A. Buford May tells the absorbing story of the hopes and struggles of one high school basketball team. With a clear passion for the game, May grabs readers with both hands and pulls them onto the hardwood, going under the hoop and inside the locker room. May spent seven seasons as an assistant coach of the Northeast High School Knights in Northeast, Georgia. We meet players like Larique and Pooty Cat, hard-working and energetic young men, willing to play and practice basketball seven days a week and banking on the unlimited promise of the game. And we meet Coach Benson, their unorthodox, out-spoken, and fierce leader, who regularly coached them to winning seasons, twice going to the state tournaments Elite Eight championships. Beyond the wins and losses, May provides a portrait of the players’ hopes and aspirations, their home lives, and the difficulties they face in living in a poor and urban area — namely, the temptations of drugs and alcohol, violence in their communities, run-ins with the police, and unstable family lives. We learn what it means to become a man when you live in places that define manhood by how tough you can be, how many women you can have, and how much money you can hustle. May shows the powerful role that the basketball team can play in keeping these kids straight, away from street-life, focused on completing high school, and possibly even attending college. Their stories, and the double-edged sword of hoop dreams, is at the heart of this compelling story about young African American men’s struggle to find their way in an often grim world.

Lynching Beyond Dixie

The following spring, a mob—led by a drunken teacher—lynched two youths accused of horse theft. ... 6 Unlike their urban kinfolk, who lived among substantial numbers of blacks, rural whites usually lived among smaller, more vulnerable, ...

Author: Michael J. Pfeifer

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 9780252094651

Category: Social Science

Page: 344

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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. The volume adds to a more comprehensive history of American lynching and will be of interest to all readers interested in the history of violence across the varied regions of the United States. Contributors are Jack S. Blocker Jr., Brent M. S. Campney, William D. Carrigan, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, Dennis B. Downey, Larry R. Gerlach, Kimberley Mangun, Helen McLure, Michael J. Pfeifer, Christopher Waldrep, Clive Webb, and Dena Lynn Winslow.

Arkansas Review

Mitchell introduces the inaugural lynching drama , Angelina Weld Grimké's Rachel ( 1914 ) as an example of the ... in which the voices of the living and the dead rise to make their stories heard , to confront and console one other .

Author:

Publisher:

ISBN: UCSD:31822041027194

Category: American fiction

Page:

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The Last Lynching

In The Last Lynching, Anthony S. Pitch reveals the true story behind the last mass lynching in America in unprecedented detail.

Author: Anthony S. Pitch

Publisher: Skyhorse

ISBN: 9781510701762

Category: History

Page: 244

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Nothing casts a more sinister shadow over our nation’s history than the gruesome lynchings that happened between 1882 and 1937, claiming 4,680 victims. Often, in a show of racist violence, the lynchers tortured their victims before murdering them. Most killers were never brought to justice; some were instead celebrated as heroes, their victims’ bodies displayed, or even cut up and distributed, as trophies. Then, in 1946, the dead bodies of two men and two women were found near Moore’s Ford Bridge in rural Monroe, Georgia. Their killers were never identified. And although the crime reverberated through the troubled community, the corrupt courts, and eventually the whole world, many details remained unexplored – until now. In The Last Lynching, Anthony S. Pitch reveals the true story behind the last mass lynching in America in unprecedented detail. Drawing on some 10,000 previously classified documents from the FBI and National Archives, Lynched paints an unflinching picture of the lives of the victims, suspects, and eyewitnesses, and describes the political, judicial, and socioeconomic conditions that stood in the way of justice. Along the way, The Last Lynching sheds light into a dark corner of American history which no one can afford to ignore. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

The Lives of the Constitution

lynching, the Memphis Appeal-Avalanche, Wells-Barnett's chief antagonist, defended its citizens by arguing that when an “unprotected woman is assaulted . . . chivalrous men in the neighborhood will forget that there are such things as ...

Author: Joseph Tartakovsky

Publisher: Encounter Books

ISBN: 9781594039867

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

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In a fascinating blend of biography and history, Joseph Tartakovsky tells the epic and unexpected story of our Constitution through the eyes of ten extraordinary individuals—some renowned, like Alexander Hamilton and Woodrow Wilson, and some forgotten, like James Wilson and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Tartakovsky brings to life their struggles over our supreme law from its origins in revolutionary America to the era of Obama and Trump. Sweeping from settings as diverse as Gold Rush California to the halls of Congress, and crowded with a vivid Dickensian cast, Tartakovsky shows how America’s unique constitutional culture grapples with questions like democracy, racial and sexual equality, free speech, economic liberty, and the role of government. Joining the ranks of other great American storytellers, Tartakovsky chronicles how Daniel Webster sought to avert the Civil War; how Alexis de Tocqueville misunderstood America; how Robert Jackson balanced liberty and order in the battle against Nazism and Communism; and how Antonin Scalia died warning Americans about the ever-growing reach of the Supreme Court. From the 1787 Philadelphia Convention to the clash over gay marriage, this is a grand tour through two centuries of constitutional history as never told before, and an education in the principles that sustain America in the most astonishing experiment in government ever undertaken.

Lynching in America

According to the Mississippi newspaper, the lynched men had raped white women. ... From the house of Mr. Herrington they proceeded up Red River to the mouth of the Cocodra, where was then living a Mr. Todd, with his wife and child, ...

Author: Christopher Waldrep

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 9780814793992

Category: History

Page: 281

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"Ranging from personal correspondence to courtroom transcripts to journalistic accounts, Christopher Waldrep has extensively mined an enormous quantity of documents about lynching, which he arranges chronologically with concise introductions. He reveals that lynching has been part of American history since the Revolution, but its victims, perpetrators, causes, and environments have changed over time. From the American Revolution to the expansion of the western frontier, Waldrep shows how communities defended lynching as a way to maintain law and order."--Publisher description.

Lynchings in Kansas 1850s 1932

Her catalog places some events in counties that did not exist at the time of the lynching. In this book, errors in her data are corrected: misspelled names, incorrect places and dates, and the number of victims per incident.

Author: Harriet C. Frazier

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 9780786468324

Category: History

Page: 228

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In 1933, Genevieve Yost, Kansas State Historical Society cataloger, published a "History of Lynching in Kansas." The present book is a development of that work, researched with the benefit of modern technology. The author locates 58 lynchings Yost missed and removes 19 from her list that for various reasons are not lynchings in Kansas. Yost apparently catalogued her 123 entries, some containing up to six names, based on her newspaper sources' headlines, not the actual stories on the lynchings. Her catalog places some events in counties that did not exist at the time of the lynching. In this book, errors in her data are corrected: misspelled names, incorrect places and dates, and the number of victims per incident. In agreement with Yost, the author finds that most of the victims were white men who were horse thieves, their deaths taking place in the eastern tier of counties bordering Missouri, an area then and now where most Kansans lived. The last lynching in Kansas took place in 1932 in the extreme northwest of the state, and an interview of an eyewitness is included.

At the Hands of Persons Unknown

Philip Dray also tells the story of the men and women who led the long and difficult fight to expose and eradicate lynching, including Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and W.E.B. Du Bois.

Author: Philip Dray

Publisher: Modern Library

ISBN: 9780307430663

Category: History

Page: 544

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WINNER OF THE SOUTHERN BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION • “A landmark work of unflinching scholarship.”—The New York Times This extraordinary account of lynching in America, by acclaimed civil rights historian Philip Dray, shines a clear, bright light on American history’s darkest stain—illuminating its causes, perpetrators, apologists, and victims. Philip Dray also tells the story of the men and women who led the long and difficult fight to expose and eradicate lynching, including Ida B. Wells, James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, and W.E.B. Du Bois. If lynching is emblematic of what is worst about America, their fight may stand for what is best: the commitment to justice and fairness and the conviction that one individual’s sense of right can suffice to defy the gravest of wrongs. This landmark book follows the trajectory of both forces over American history—and makes lynching’s legacy belong to us all. Praise for At the Hands of Persons Unknown “In this history of lynching in the post-Reconstruction South—the most comprehensive of its kind—the author has written what amounts to a Black Book of American race relations.”—The New Yorker “A powerfully written, admirably perceptive synthesis of the vast literature on lynching. It is the most comprehensive social history of this shameful subject in almost seventy years and should be recognized as a major addition to the bibliography of American race relations.”—David Levering Lewis “An important and courageous book, well written, meticulously researched, and carefully argued.”—The Boston Globe “You don’t really know what lynching was until you read Dray’s ghastly accounts of public butchery and official complicity.”—Time

Lynching in North Carolina

After 1922, however, in a phenomenon unique to North Carolina, incidents of lynching inexplicably and rapidly declined, prompting the state to head a national movement1to end it.

Author: Vann R. Newkirk

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: UOM:39015077134024

Category: History

Page: 206

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From the end of the Civil War through 1941, there were 168 North Carolinians who lost their lives to lynching. This form of mob violence was often justified as a means of controlling the black population; protecting white wives and daughters; and defending family honor. Legal attempts to deter lynching--including the 1893 law that classified it as a felony and sought to hold a county liable for damages--generally failed because of a lack of local support and ineffectual enforcement by state officials. After 1922, however, in a phenomenon unique to North Carolina, incidents of lynching inexplicably and rapidly declined, prompting the state to head a national movement1to end it. Appendices provide an account of all 168 known lynching occurrences.

Wrecked Lives and Lost Souls

Joe Lynch Davis and the Last of the Oklahoma Outlaws Jerry Thompson ... “Threats of lynching were heard on every side,” a Muskogee newspaper reported.43 Authorities were forced to admit that Bob Davis and his comrades “would never be ...

Author: Jerry Thompson

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 9780806166049

Category: History

Page: 344

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Growing up, Jerry Thompson knew only that his grandfather was a gritty, “mixed-blood” Cherokee cowboy named Joe Lynch Davis. That was all anyone cared to say about the man. But after Thompson’s mother died, the award-winning historian discovered a shoebox full of letters that held the key to a long-lost family history of passion, violence, and despair. Wrecked Lives and Lost Souls, the result of Thompson’s sleuthing into his family’s past, uncovers the lawless life and times of a man at the center of systematic cattle rustling, feuding, gun battles, a bloody range war, bank robberies, and train heists in early 1900s Indian Territory and Oklahoma. Through painstaking detective work into archival sources, newspaper accounts, and court proceedings, and via numerous interviews, Thompson pieces together not only the story of his grandfather—and a long-forgotten gang of outlaws to rival the infamous Younger brothers—but also the dark path of a Cherokee diaspora from Georgia to Indian Territory. Davis, born in 1891, grew up on a family ranch on the Canadian River, outside the small community of Porum in the Cherokee Nation. The range was being fenced, and for the Davis family and others, cattle rustling was part of a way of life—a habit that ultimately spilled over into violence and murder. The story “goes way back to the wild & wooly cattle days of the west,” an aunt wrote to Thompson’s mother, “when there was cattle rustling, bank robberies & feuding.” One of these feuds—that Joe Davis was “raised right into”—was the decade-long Porum Range War, which culminated in the murder of Davis’s uncle in 1907. In fleshing out the details of the range war and his grandfather’s life, Thompson brings to light the brutality and far-reaching consequences of an obscure chapter in the history of the American West.

Where These Memories Grow

nity, few details of a lynching were usually remembered beyond the site of the execution. In fact, memory of lynchings may be ... Those who lived in Laurens o√ered more detailed accounts of the lynching. Mary Clark explained Puckett's ...

Author: W. Fitzhugh Brundage

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 9781469624327

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 159

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Southerners are known for their strong sense of history. But the kinds of memories southerners have valued--and the ways in which they have preserved, transmitted, and revitalized those memories--have been as varied as the region's inhabitants themselves. This collection presents fresh and innovative perspectives on how southerners across two centuries and from Texas to North Carolina have interpreted their past. Thirteen contributors explore the workings of historical memory among groups as diverse as white artisans in early-nineteenth-century Georgia, African American authors in the late nineteenth century, and Louisiana Cajuns in the twentieth century. In the process, they offer critical insights for understanding the many communities that make up the American South. As ongoing controversies over the Confederate flag, the Alamo, and depictions of slavery at historic sites demonstrate, southern history retains the power to stir debate. By placing these and other conflicts over the recalled past into historical context, this collection will deepen our understanding of the continuing significance of history and memory for southern regional identity. Contributors: Bruce E. Baker Catherine W. Bishir David W. Blight Holly Beachley Brear W. Fitzhugh Brundage Kathleen Clark Michele Gillespie John Howard Gregg D. Kimball Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp C. Brenden Martin Anne Sarah Rubin Stephanie E. Yuhl

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

How could powerless blacks endure and resist the brutality of white supremacy in nearly every aspect of their lives and still keep their sanity? I concluded that an immanent presence of a transcendent revelation, confirming for blacks ...

Author: James H. Cone

Publisher: Orbis Books

ISBN: 9781608330010

Category: Religion

Page: 202

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A landmark in the conversation about race and religion in America. "They put him to death by hanging him on a tree." Acts 10:39 The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk. Both the cross and the lynching tree represent the worst in human beings and at the same time a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning. While the lynching tree symbolized white power and "black death," the cross symbolizes divine power and "black life" God overcoming the power of sin and death. For African Americans, the image of Jesus, hung on a tree to die, powerfully grounded their faith that God was with them, even in the suffering of the lynching era. In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues; the passion and of Emmet Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.; he invokes the spirits of Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ida B. Well, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. And he remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology to explain how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.