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African-American History - Lynchings

Click here to read a history of African-Americans between the years 1619 through 1939.

The Lynchings of 1934 (Literary Digest, 1935)

Four paragraphs tallying up the number of lynchings that took place throughout the course of 1934. The study was compiled by the Department of Records and Research of the Tuskegee Institute, which also compared the amount to the number of lynchings that took place during the previous four years.

"Fifteen people, all Negroes, were lynched during 1934...Mississippi led in the number of lynchings, six; Florida and Louisiana came next with two each; and one each was recorded for Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas."


The Lynching Evil as Understood by Robert Moton (Review of Reviews, 1919)

A digest concerning the thoughts of Tuskegee Institutes's Robert R. Moton (1867 - 1940) and his reflections on the 1919 lynchings. Principal Moton pointed out that lynching served as the primary cause for the northerly migration of the African-Americans and was creating a labor shortage that would in no way benefit the economies of the Southern states. He stated that more and more Whites were recognizing the injustice of the crime and taking measures to actively oppose it. Seven influential Southern newspapers were named that had recently condemned lynching.


Anti-Lynching Legislation Shelved (PM Tabloid, 1942)

Whether it was due to the urgency of the war or whether it was simply business as usual on Capitol hill, who knows - but ever since he came to Washington in 1929 Representative Joseph Gavagan (D., NYC: 1892 1968) tried numerous times to get his anti-lynching legislation through Congress. In April of 1937 he succeeded in getting one of his anti-lynching bills passed (277 to 118) - but the Southern Democrats saw to it that he wouldn't get an encore performance in '42; this was his last attempt, he retired from the House that same year.


1933: A Lynchless Year? (Literary Digest, 1933)

This article was published during the opening days of 1933 and reported on the deep spirit of optimism that was enjoyed by the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, and their executive director, Mrs. Jessi Daniel Ames (1883 - 1972). This group of Southerners were hoping that, through their efforts and those of other like-minded Southern organizations, 1933 would be a year without a single lynching:

"If Mississippi can have a lynchless year, a lynchless South is a possible and reasonable goal..."

The reporter dryly noted that a few days after the above remark was recorded, a lynching was committed - one of the twenty-eight that took place throughout the course of 1933.


''Lynching No. 3'' (Pathfinder Magazine, 1938)

A dreary news story relaying the violent end that came to one R.C. Williams of Ruston, Louisiana.


Lynching as an Extension of Chivalry? (The New Republic, 1922)

This small column from the pages of THE NEW REPUBLIC reported that women from five Southern states had gathered together in 1922 intending to pass a set of resolutions that would remedy "one aspect of the Negro question" (an illusive phrase that meant "lynching"). The attached article remarked that these women

"...feel a deep sense of appreciation for the chivalry of men who would give their lives for the purity and safety of the women of their own race," yet "They wish to bring about a state of public opinion which will compel the protection and purity of both races."


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