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American Lynching$
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Ashraf H. A. Rushdy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300181388

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300181388.001.0001

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The Race of Lynching

The Race of Lynching

Chapter:
(p.51) 2 The Race of Lynching
Source:
American Lynching
Author(s):

Ashraf H. A. Rushdy

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300181388.003.0002

This chapter examines the rise of racial lynching and how lynching became an American practice used to control, terrorize, and subjugate a people, who, in turn, resisted it and the political imperatives of white supremacy behind it. It is popularly believed that African Americans were infrequently the victims of antebellum mob violence. The popular belief about the absence of lynching during Reconstruction is a result of historians' restrictive definitions of lynching. At the core of the putative logic which was meant to protect slaves from lynching was the belief that slavery itself was a system of social control and of exercising control over an enslaved populace. Soon revoked by military officers during congressional Reconstruction, the Black Codes on the books were quickly replaced by vigilante groups in the field. Thus, Reconstruction plays an important role as a trope in the discourse of lynching.

Keywords:   racial lynching, American practice, mob violence, Reconstruction, slavery, Black Codes

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