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Lynching Of African American People And Postcards Humiliation

Dissertation : Lynching Of African American People And Postcards Humiliation. Recherche parmi 259 000+ dissertations

Par   •  31 Janvier 2012  •  318 Mots (2 Pages)  •  1 086 Vues

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Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged agressor, or to intimidate, control, or manipulate a population of people. Violence in the United States against African Americans, especially in the South, rose in the aftermath of the Civil War, after slavery had been abolished and black men were given the right to vote.

These lynchings became a business: the victims were photographed, then the pictures were changed into postcards. These crimes were seen as shows for the white American community and have actively contributed to the segregation of African Americans in the United States.

White men and women who went to these lynchings sometimes brought along young children, who were photographed no more than an arm’s length away from a mutilated corpse. These photos were often turned into grisly postcards that continued to circulate even after Congress made it illegal to mail them. The postcards was sold 10 cents.

Jesse Washington was burned alive in Waco, Texas, in 1916. He was arrested on May 8, 1916, charged with having raped and murdered Lucy Fryer. But it’s unclear whether Washington was guilty.
A postcard depicts the charred and dismembered corpse of Washington, he was burned before a crowd of thousands in Waco. «This is the Barbecue we had last night my picture is to the left with a cross over it» wrote a man named Joe to his parents on the back of his postcard. He refers to the horrific murder (in which the victim’s ears, fingers and sexual organs were severed). He identifies himself in the crowd by placing a mark in ink about his head.

By permitting images like this one to move through the mail, the government endorsed lynching, showing that African-Americans were less than human, they were humiliated just because of their origins and the color of their skin.


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