Terror and violence were used to sustain the Jim Crow system throughout its bloody history. Many of the stories and images contained in the series depict disturbing scenes of terror that need to be discussed in the classroom. This unit considers violence in the struggle for civil rights -- when and why violence was employed.
In the struggle to end this practice, lynching was documented in a variety of ways. Organizations such as the NAACP sought to compile statistical information on lynchings, organized by year, state, victim's race, and the supposed offence. Journalists such as Ida B. Wells and magazines such as the NAACP's THE CRISIS provided anecdotal information about specific episodes of lynching, often included eyewitness accounts and reporting from the local press. Finally, the African American press often published photographs of lynchings.
This unit considers the problem of lynching during the Jim Crow era and the way in which a variety of documentary information was gathered and disseminated to educate people about lynching and to advocate for federal laws prohibiting its practice.
Four class periods
African American History, History of Jim Crow, Racial Violence
Students will be able to:
- Recount how racial violence was employed against African Americans during the Jim Crow era.
- Evaluate statistical and textual information for evidence of racial violence.
- Understand the response of the African American community to racial violence.
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
United States History Standard and Benchmarks
Historical Understanding Standard and Benchmarks
This lesson was prepared by: Thomas Thurston