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African Americans Confront Lynching

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Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Racial Violence During Reconstruction Chapter 2: T. Thomas Fortune and the Rhetoric of Constitutionalism Chapter 3: Ida B. Wells and Monroe Work and the Power of Numbers Chapter 4: The NAACP: Organized Resistance Chapter 5: Facing Dynamite: Racial Violence After World War II Chapter 6: Hate Crimes: The Ordeal Continues Documents Bibliographic Essay

About the Author

Christopher Waldrep is Jamie and Phyllis Parker Professor of History, San Francisco State University and the author of Vicksburg's Long Shadow.


I was bowled over by this study! African Americans Confront Lynching is one of the most engrossing and informative, yet saddening, works on this ghastly means to humiliate and terrorize a race. With great literary skill, Christopher Waldrep reveals the courage, eloquence, and passionate devotion to justice of black journalists and spokesmen when such challenges were scarcely welcome. Every reader interested in American, especially Southern and African American, history must have this remarkable, moving work and ponder its tragic meaning. -- Bertram Wyatt-Brown, author of The Shaping of Southern Culture Christopher Waldrep's accessible and incisive book offers a comprehensive history of the rhetoric and ideas surrounding the word 'lynching' and the strategies African-Americans deployed to confront racial violence. This valuable volume will be of great interest to all students of racial violence and African American history. -- Michael J. Pfeifer, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, author of Rough Justice This book should spark thoughtful inquiry on a very important topic in African American history in and beyond the classroom. * Journal of American History * African Americans Confront Lynching advances a new and valuable interpretation of lynching and anti-lynching activism. . . . This volume will be of great use to teachers and scholars of legal history, African American history, and Southern history. [The book] reminds us that we cannot study the history of lynching without studying those who resisted it. -- Amy Wood, author of Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 * H-Law, H-Net Reviews * Christopher Waldrep continues his valuable scholarship on racial violence by examining African American efforts to resist lynching. . . . Waldrep's account of unrelenting persecution, intimidation, and violence of Adams's courage and creativity in resisting provides vivid context. -- Richard M. Valelly * Journal of Southern History * With the publication of African Americans Confront Lynching, Christopher Waldrep builds upon his impressive and pioneering work in U.S. legal and constitutional history. Waldrep presents a compelling story of both searing reality and symbolic rhetoric. In clear and effective writing, he shows us the tension between the ideal of a nation with respect for the rule of law and power of local communities with all their personal prejudices. -- Orville Vernon Burton, Creativity Professor of Humanities, Professor of History, Pan African Studies, and Sociology, Clemson University and author The Age of Lincoln Americans are fascinated with violence, a fascination that has both intrigued and puzzled our European and Asian counterparts for decades. In a society where the right to bear arms is not only protected in the U.S. Constitution but also is considered an affirmation of manhood and self-assertion, American violence reached unimaginable heights in the post-Civil War era in the wake of slavery's abolition. Christopher Waldrep has accomplished far more in his slim volume than merely recounting the grisly horror of mob violence and lynching that reinforced white supremacy in the American South, the avowed purpose of which was to crush or stifle the aspirations of African Americans and to remind every black man, woman, and child that they occupied a separate and inferior place in the region's social and political fabric. Waldrep maintains, and I am inclined to agree, that those who opposed lynching, including African Americans and their white allies, 'sought certain protection from violence from the government and made political appeals based on constitutional principle.' * Journal of American Ethnic History * No historian has contributed more substantially to our understanding of lynching than Christopher Waldrep. The latest book from this prolific academic is an accessible introductory text aimed at undergraduate and general readers. . . . An ideal volume for students seeking a short introduction to the topic that not only synthesizes the extant literature, but also equips them with the tools to conduct their own research. * Journal of Social History *

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