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AfriGeneas Books~Authors~Reviews Forum

At The Hands Of Persons Unknown; Recommendation

Thanks Sharon!

At the Hands of Persons Unknown : The Lynching of Black America
by Philip Dray
Publisher: Random House; January 2002
ISBN: 0375503242;

Editorial Review from Amazon.com:

Lynching, the extrajudicial punishment inflicted by vigilantes and mobs on often innocent victims, was far from an unusual occurrence, though some historians have depicted it as such.

Instead, writes Philip Dray, lynching was part of a "systematized reign of terror that was used to maintain the power whites had over blacks."

Drawing on records held at the Tuskegee Institute, Dray argues that from 1882 until 1952, not a single year passed without a recorded lynching somewhere in the United States, most often in the Deep South and Mississippi Delta regions.

This violent "justice," meted out "at the hands of persons unknown" (with, therefore, no possibility of attaching guilt to the perpetrators, though, as Dray points out, such seemingly spontaneous events required organization and planning) held African American communities in terror and was one force behind the exodus of black southerners to the north in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dray's extraordinary study reveals a pattern of crime against humanity, one that, he writes, diminished gradually for various reasons, not least of them the work of reformers and ordinary citizens "who knew we were too good to be a nation of lynchers." --Gregory McNamee

Peace
"Guided by the Ancestors"

Messages In This Thread

AT THE HANDS OF PERSONS UNKNOWN
At The Hands Of Persons Unknown; Recommendation

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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