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Cultural and Ethnic Studies Essay on Lynching


Lynching is a term that defines murder habitually executed by a group of individuals as a way of punishment by hanging, burning and shooting with the purpose of intimidating a specific group of people. The practice has been common and used by dominant groups to prevent any form of challenge that arise from upcoming groups especially in the even  where there is competition for scarce resources (Brundage 11).

Lynching in the United States

Lynching in the United States of America became common in the 19th and 20th century. It was heightened by white mobs threatening and physically intimidating African-Americans because they were more than determined to suppress them politically and economically. White mobs aimed at taking control of towns occupied by African Americans and were making huge profits and rapidly rowing their businesses during the Reconstruction period (Donaldson 86).

Additionally, they were scared that intermarriage between whites and blacks could spread rapidly and thus, they intimidated the African Americans from getting involved with white women. The mobs also lynched African Americans as a way of protecting their lifestyle from any form of infiltration and prevention of voting by blacks (The Documentary Institute 1). Whites published lynching cases on the media to threaten African Americans and to ensure all of them got the terrifying news awaiting them.

The United States of America observes lynching that affected many people especially African Americans by preserving photographs and ancient portraits of the events. The families of the victims can also get compensation for the injustices that befell their loved ones while implementing laws that will ensure such evil acts are not repeated (Waldrep 15).


It is very clear that lynching was a common practice back in the 19th and 20th century in the United States of America. The vice was fueled by the urge to suppress the increasing social, economic and political prominence of African American by the whites. Even though this created suffering amongst the victims, it is celebrated by ensuring proper preservation of portraits and photographs relating to lynching cases in national archives.


Work Cited

Brundage, Fitzhugh. Under Sentence of Death: Lynching in the South, Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Donaldson, Wood. Lynching’s Legacy in American Culture, The Mississippi Quarterly, 61.2 2008: 85-91.

The Documentary Institute. The Legacy of Harry T. Moore, viewed on 5th March, 2014 from http://www.pbs.org/harrymoore/terror/cneal.html

Waldrep, Christopher. Lynching in America: A History in Documents, New York, New York University Press, (2006).


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