Intimidation beyond the law

Lynching as "De Facto" Racism

Of all the types of "de facto" racism we have seen, the most extreme was the practice of lynching. While people have been spontaneously killing people for crimes that outrage the community in some way. Until the Reconstruction era, lynching was practiced as a form of frontier justice and there was little or no racial element to it. But after the Civil War, racists turned to this extreme form of punishment to keep the Black community in fear and to enforce racial codes that were too distasteful even for the Jim Crow period. It usually involved

Source for Photo:

Growing Outrage Over Lynching

Although many may not know it, Indiana became a center for the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920's. Perhaps the most famous lynching happened here in 1920 in Marion, IN. The lynching itself was not extraordinary for the time, but the photo that emerged from the event started a chain of events that led to a national outrage over the practice. Although the last official case classified as a lynching occurred in 1973, this photograph marked a key turning point in the national attitude around lynching.
Big image

This picture inspired Abel Meeropol to write a poem. Read it here:

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

Quoted from:

Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit