Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Lynchings Statistics: By State and Race, 1882-1968

Senate Apologizes to Lynching Victims, Families for Failure to Act

From 1890 to 1960, 4,742 Americans were documented as having been lynched, with actual numbers believed to be much higher. During that time, nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced to the United States Congress. The United States House of Representatives even passed three anti-lynching bills, but all failed on the floor of the Senate despite the lobbying of seven U.S. Presidents. Because of the Senate’s refusal to pass the legislation, the federal government was left powerless to intervene and protect Americans from these heinous acts of mob violence. Link

Beloved has an interesting posting (Apology Accepted?)detailing the story of her family's history of the lynchings and brutality that occurred in Mississippi.


Nevertheless, James and Missouri married. Missouri gave birth to my grandmother, her only child and sometimes traveled the countryside serving as a nurse. Missouri was often mistaken for a white woman. She was extremely fair-skinned and had straight hair that reached past her waist. When out in town with James, their presence would often cause a stir because most outsiders would mistake them for a black man "mixing" with a white woman.

Tragically, one day on her way home from helping a family, a group of white men that had previously seen her in town took her, locked her in a cellar of an abandoned home and set the home on fire. The men then went looking for James. They assumed that they were doing a "duty" by punishing a "white woman" for dealing with a black man. James managed to escape unharmed, but he was forced to hide for several years, leaving my grandmother to be raised by various relatives in Seven Springs.

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