A Short Video History of the Long History of Terror Lynchings

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This video was created by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). On April 26, 2018, EJI opened a new lynching memorial and a museum to help Americans come to terms with this disturbing part of our country’s history.

Anthony Crawford was lynched for disputing the price for his crop with a white buyer. His entire family was then run out of town.

America’s Black Holocaust virtual Museum launched our Memorial to the Victims of Lynching on February 25, 2012. It contains the names, dates and places of death, of nearly 2000 men, women, and children who were lynched.

The purpose of the Memorial is to draw attention to the lives that were cut short, to the families who suffered both the losses of loved ones and, often, their homes and livelihoods. We ask their descendants to send us stories of their relatives’ lives. Here are two of them: Anthony Crawford and Claxton Dekle.

America’s Black Holocaust Museum was founded by a lynching survivor, Dr. James Cameron. On this website, you can read the story of the lynching of young Jimmie Cameron and his two teenaged friends who were killed in Marion, Indiana, in 1930. You can also watch a video, Sweet Messenger, in which three lynching spectators and Cameron himself tell their stories.

To understand the impact lynching had on the families of victims, see Stories Behind the Postcards and read about one of the commemoration projects that have taken place around the country.

To learn about what some descendants of lynchers do to address this trauma, see the story of Warren Read, author of The Lyncher in Me and of Karen Branan, author of The Family Tree. Also check out a small town Georgia police chief and other white community leaders who recently apologized for the lynching in their county.

The Brother

The Brother, one of a series of paintings, Stories Behind the Postcards, by Jennifer Scott. These paintings illuminate the unseen agony suffered by families of victims of racial terrorism.

There is a great deal more to explore and learn about the phenomenon of racial terror lynchings in our 100 Years of Jim Crow gallery in this online museum and at EJI’s Lynching in America website.

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