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Reconstruction Period Research Forum

Partial List-Victims of Lynching Since 1859

I just came across this list of names of African Americans who were lynched in the US since 1859, arranged by state, at Christine's Genealogy website.
The website credits these sources: 100 Years of Lynching, Ralph Ginzburg, Black Classic Press; Lynching in the New South, W. Fitzhugh Brundage, University of Illinois Press.

I was looking through the lists to see whether any names of family members who seem to have just disappeared from the genealogical trail might be found there - my grandparents' generation, who brought the families to the North, were always very reluctant to talk about what life had been like in the South.

I was relieved not find the name of any (known) relative on the lists. Even so, it was chilling to see the evidence in black and white that lynchings had occurred in towns where I know my family members were living at the time, as recently as 1918. Especially chilling when considering how small the populations of some of these towns were - meaning that everyone knew everybody else, almost certainly including those who were murdered, along with their families. When I try to imagine what it must have been like living under the constant threat of that kind of terrorism, the post-911 angst we live with today seems so petty.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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