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Lynchings in The United States Since 1865

Lynching has been a major component of racial violence in the United States since the end of the Civil War.  While Americans of every racial background have been subjected to this violence, a disproportionate number of lynchings have been in the U.S. South and most of the victims were African American women, men, and children. This page brings together a variety of information on lynchings of blacks in the U.S.  It includes an overview of black lynchings by the Equal Justice Initiative titled, Lynching in America, which with its listing of over 4,000 murders, is the most comprehensive report on lynching now available.  The page also includes individual descriptions of some of the most horrific lynchings, documents from the campaign to end lynching, and a bibliography of the major works on the subject.  . 

Equal Justice Initiative, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror

Major Lynchings:

Henry Smith, 1893

Julia and Frazier Baker, 1898

Allen Brooks, 1910

Jessie Washington, 1916

Mary Turner, 1918

The Omaha Courthouse Lynching, 1919

Duluth Lynchings, 1920

Marion, Indiana Lynching, 1930

Eyewitness to Terror, 1931

The Moore’s Ford Lynching, 1946

Emmett Till, 1955

Charles Mack Parker, 1959

Michael Anthony Donald, 1981

James Byrd, Jr., 1998


Lynching: Documenting the Resistance


Rev. D.A. Graham, “Some Facts about Southern Lynchings, 1899

Ida B. Wells, “Lynch Law in America,” 1900

Ida B. Wells, Lynching Our National Crime, 1909

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Long Struggle for Civil Rights in the United States

NAACP Silent Protest Parade, 1917

Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, 1922

The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill (The Actual Legislation)

James Herbert Cameron Jr., 1930

The Scottsboro Case, 1931-1950

The Scottsboro Boys Trial and Defense Campaign, 1931-1937

Distant Whistles, Muted Flutes: Ada Wright in Glasgow, Scotland, 1932

Tuskegee University Records on Lynching, 1881-1936, compiled by Monroe Work

The Martinsville Seven, 1949-1954

The Civil Rights Congress, 1945-1956


Research Guides and Websites About Lynching

The Duluth Lynchings Online Resource

Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans

Lynching Sites Project of Memphis (LSP)

Racial Terror Lynchings, Map by Google and the Equal Justice Initiative


Bibliography: Major Works on the Subject of Lynching

James Allen, Hilton Als, John Lewis, and Leon F. Litwack, Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (Santa Fe: Twin Palms Publishers: 2000)

William Fitzhugh Brundage, Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880–1930 (Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1993).

Steven Budiansky, The Bloody Shirt: Terror After the Civil War (New York: Plume, 2008).

James Cameron, A Time of Terror: A Survivor's Story (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1982).

Mark Curriden and Leroy Phillips, Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism (New York: Faber & Faber, 1999.

Terence Finegan, A Deed So Accursed: Lynching in Mississippi and South Carolina, 1881–1940 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013).

Ralph Ginzburg, 100 Years of Lynching (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1988).

Karlos K. Hill, "Black Vigilantism: African American Lynch Mob Activity in the Mississippi and Arkansas Deltas, 1883-1923," Journal of African American History 95:1 (Winter 2010): 26-43.

Jonathan Markovitz, Legacies of Lynching: Racial Violence and Memory (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004)

Michael J. Pfeifer, Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874–1947 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004).

Michael J. Pfeifer, (ed.), Lynching Beyond Dixie: American Mob Violence Outside the South (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2013).

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States, 1889–1918 (New York City: Arno Press, 1969).

Bryan Stevenson, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror (Montgomery, Alabama: Equal Justice Initiative, 2015)

Stewart E. Tolnay and E.M. Beck, A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882–1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992).

Amy Louise Wood, Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011)

George C. Wright, Racial Violence in Kentucky 1865–1940 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990)

Robert Zangrando, The NAACP’s Crusade Against Lynching (Philadephia: Temple University Press, 1980)

Related Pages:

Racial Violence in the United States Since 1860

Black Lives Matter

Race, Crime, and Incarceration in the United States

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