Ida B. Wells: “Lynch Law in America”

(1900)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

In “Lynch Law in America,” Wells-Barnett declares that lynching has become a national crime to which all sections of the country have contributed and must bear responsibility. She begins the article by discussing the origin and evolution of lynching in the United States and the transformation of the practice into a tool of racist terror in the South. She describes the current situation with respect to the widespread incidents of lynching and the various excuses offered for it. Finally, she urges Americans to take action against the crime of...

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Harper's Weekly illustration of lynching and its collaborators (Library of Congress)

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