Check It Out

New Website: Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror

July 10, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), collaborating with Google, has developed an important website that went up in June: Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror.

“Lynching in America” begins: “After slavery was formally abolished, lynching emerged as a vicious tool of racial control to reestablish white supremacy and suppress black civil rights. More than 4,000 African Americans were lynched across twenty states between 1877 and 1950. These lynchings were public acts of racial terrorism, intended to instill fear in entire black communities. Government officials frequently turned a blind eye or condoned the mob violence.”

The interactive site has many different ways that people can learn about, visualize, hear and get an understanding of these horrific American crimes. There is a map showing where lynchings took place, audio interviews with descendants of lynching victims, photos of lynching sites, profiles of lynching victims, and high school lesson plans for teachers. The site also includes a map of the Great Migration, showing how fleeing this terror sparked the relocation of millions of African Americans.

The Equal Justice Initiative says its mission is to end mass incarceration, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people. Its website,, has a range of important and informative posts which challenge people to confront the history and significance of these lynchings AND the ongoing and systematic oppression of Black people in America.

“An elaborate and enduring mythology about the inferiority of black people was created to legitimate, perpetuate, and defend slavery in America,” EJI writes. “This mythology of racial difference survived slavery’s formal abolition, was violently reinforced in the era of racial terror lynching, and fueled vicious resistance to the civil rights movement. Today, it is evident in our criminal justice system, which is six times more likely to incarcerate African American men than white men. If current trends continue, one of every three black boys born in America today will be imprisoned.”

This informative website comes in the context of a whole series of incidents this year where nooses are being displayed in a celebration of the lynching of Black people and a threatening show of white supremacy. Just to name some instances, nooses have been found: hanging from a tree outside the Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall; inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture; outside middle schools in Maryland and Florida; at a high school in Cameron, North Carolina; at a high school in North Raleigh, NC, around the neck of a black teddy bear with a hate message aimed at the Black principal; at a fraternity house at the University of Maryland; at American University—where bananas were hung from nooses on the day the first Black woman was to begin as president of the university’s Student Government Association; and just recently, on July 5, at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, where a white worker took one of the ropes used to seal bags of coins, turned it into a noose and dropped it near a Black worker.

“Lynching in America” and the Equal Justice Initiative make important contributions in helping people confront the actual history of this country. Check them out.


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