I hate to bum y’all out on a Monday. This link is definitely not for everybody.
But here is a Flash movie by James Allen based on his book “Without Sanctuary,” a collection of photographic post cards of black people lynched by whites.
It’s hard to wrap one’s mind around these grim artifacts of American social history. But the practice of lynching, the administration of “mob justice” – like so much of our shared past – was a more complicated phenomenon than we give it credit for.
Whites, for example, lynched plenty of white folks too. (Back in February, I mentioned the case of Roy Belton.) This Flash movie includes a photo of the hanging body of Leo Frank, whose lynching inspired the formation of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
Some blacks, such as followers of the Nation of Islam, place lynching high in their bill of indictment against the White Man. Some white racialists who express themselves on the Internet point to the disproportion of black violent crime today and say the lynchers did what they had to do to protect white communities from Negro savagery.
Me, I look at these photographs and struggle to connect with the humanity on both ends of the rope. Human beings did this. To other human beings. And nothing human is alien to me.
(Hat-tip: The Electronic Village by way of AfroSpear.)