04:30 PM to 07:10 PM T
Section Information for Fall 2021
Although the number of lynchings is still evolving as new case discoveries are made, the Equal Justice Initiative has documented 4075 lynchings of African Americans between 1877 and 1950. Following the Civil War and Reconstruction and through the rise of Jim Crow, lynching served as a mechanism for maintaining a virulent form of white supremacy that involved racial control and coercion, oppression and terrorism. In converting black men into “black beasts” who were especially prone to raping white women, white supremacists were able to inflame a race hatred that justified the South’s approach to its lethal extralegal system of racial violence. The charges against the victims, who were afforded no right to due process, ranged from the serious to the trivial, with many lynched not for an alleged crime but for not properly conforming to the system of racial subordination. While many of the lynchings could be labeled as routine murders, others were created as spectacles of entertainment involving mutilation and sexual torture, forced confessions before death, followed by the spectators and lynchers posing for postcard pictures and grabbing souvenirs in the form of body parts and tree bark, branches and leaves where the blood had spilled. The course will cover four main areas of inquiry. It will explore the factors that account for the rise and fall of lynching and its spatial and temporal distribution in the South. The course will also examine the characteristics of the lynched as well as the lynchers, including connections with law enforcement and local judicial systems. It will cover antilynching campaigns by organizations and individuals. Although concentrated on the lynchings of black men in the South who formed the majority of lynch victims there, the course will also examine the circumstances that led to the lynching of black women as well as the characteristics of lynchings in sections of the country where there were few blacks.
HIST 615 DL1 is a distance education section that meets synchronously. Students should expect to meet on the day and time scheduled.
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Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.
Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.
Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.