Indictment of Lynching

Indictment of Lynching


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Catholic organizations throughout the land should petition Congress to pass

the Wagner-Van Nuys Bill so that the power and authority

of the Federal Government may be employed to end this evil



A Fourteen Point

Indictment of Lynching


Today the crime of lynching stands condemned before the bar of public opinion. the Wagner-Van Nuys Anti-Lynching bill now before congress would make the local community responsible for the prevention of lynching and for the apprehension and punishment of those who participate. this bill should be passed at this session provided public opinion is sufficiently outspoken and insistent.

Without attempting to present the entire case against this national evil, we venture to enumerate the more outstanding legal and moral violations that may be charged against it.

1st — It is a grave offense against civilized society.

2nd — Lynching is a denial of fundamental human rights and a violation of constitutional guarantees.

3rd — For more than a century lynching has served to humiliate and disgrace America before the civilized nations of the world.

4th — Every lynching is an open and flagrant defiance of the orderly processes of the law and lawful authority.

5th — Every lynching is an open and flagrant defiance of the orderly processes of the law and lawful authority.

6th — In the absence of an adequate anti-lynching law this crime is defended and sanctioned in many communities as a tradition which perpetuate racial and class inferiority.

7th — It is frequently mentioned as a threat to curb legitimate and lawful protests against manifest injustices.

8th — It perpetuates interracial suspicion, antagonism, and hatred in a land dedicated to the democratic cooperation of all for the common ground.

9th — Although its principal victim is the Negro it is a threat against the peace and security of other minority groups.

10th — The example of unpunished lynchings has produced mob outrages by other lawless bands, such as the K.K.K. and the Black Legion.

11th — Every lynching employs the violent technique of the revolutionist and is the ally and forerunner of the violence of the revolutionist and the Communist.

12th — Today lynching enjoys the invidious distinction of being the one remnant of barbarism in American civilization.

13th — The continuance of lynching-with-impunity has been responsible for mob outrages of every character. Lynching has been contagious and frequently epidemic in character.

14th — Lynching is the enemy of Christianity and of American ideals.

There is every reason why Catholic organizations throughout the land should petition Congress to pass the Wagner-Van Nuys Bill so that the power and authority of the Federal Government may be employed to end this evil institution and remove a disgraceful blot from our national escutcheon.

Lynching must be nationally repudiated. Lynching must go!

Source: The Interracial Review

*   *   *   *   *

ANTI-LYNCHING BILL, 1938. Civil rights was one of Mr. [Philip] Levy’s major interests, expressed notably as one of the draftsmen of the Wagner-Van Nuys anti-lynching bill, an amendment to H.R. 1507, 75th Cong., 3d Sess. The bill made lynching a federal crime, would prosecute negligent law enforcement officials, and would fine the county within which the lynching took place. The Senate voted on February 21, 1938, to table the bill, following eight weeks of filibuster by the bill’s opponents, including several Southern Democratic Senators and Senator William Borah, Republican of Idaho. Failure of President Roosevelt to take a strong stand in favor of the bill hindered its chances for passage. [For the civil rights context and a discussion of the momentous filibuster, see Robert F. Zangrando, “The NAACP and a Federal Lynching Bill, 1934-1940,” Journal of Negro History, Vol. 50 (April 1965), pp. 106-117. Also a Bobbs-Merrill Reprint in Black Studies, No. BC-33l. The filibuster can also be followed in Congo Rec., 75th Cong., 3d Sess., pp. 138-161 and pp. 2090-2118 passim (1938).]—

Philip Levy Collection on National Labor Policy, 1922 – 1970

*   *   *   *   *

The Politics of Federal Anti-lynching Legislation in the New Deal Era

By Isabelle Whelan

In 1933, at the beginning of a period of profound change in the United States, the NAACP launched its new campaign for federal anti-lynching legislation. The country was in the midst of an unprecedented economic catastrophe and a new president apparently committed to the ‘forgotten man’ was in the White House. He headed a newly united national Democratic coalition of urban liberals and rural conservatives from the south and west. Federal anti-lynching legislation had been off the agenda for ten years, since the defeat of a bill introduced by Republican congressman Leonidas Dyer of Missouri in 1922. The Dyer bill, after having passed the Republican-controlled House, was blocked by the threat of a southern filibuster in the Senate. Over the next decade, the GOP made increasing overtures to the south, pushing yet further aside its historical commitment to civil rights. But as the Depression bit, campaigns by the NAACP and southern white liberals against a rise in mob violence helped to bring lynching more to the fore of the nation’s consciousness.

The reformist atmosphere of the New Deal gave hope to black leaders and race liberals that the Roosevelt administration would address the specific needs of African Americans. Individual states had traditionally been allowed to control their own race relations, but as the federal government assumed a greater role in its citizens’ lives during the New Deal, liberal reformers hoped to see this change. Ultimately, though, the New Dealers’ focus always lay with economic recovery. Even when they did consider racial issues, it was within a framework that the “‘Negro problem’ was fundamentally a class problem and treated best by economic reform.”6 For some liberals, this attitude extended even to counteracting mob violence, which they expected would die out as opportunities for both whites and blacks improved.

There were 4,608 victims of lynching in the United States between 1882 and 1932, of whom more than seven in ten were African Americans. From a high of 230 in 1892, the number of victims steadily decreased during the twentieth century, dropping below double figures for the first time in 1932. The next year, the Roosevelt administration’s first year in office, the number of lynchings soared to 28, with the rise possibly aggravated by the economic turmoil of the Depression. Although lynching had occurred in almost every state in the continental United States, during the twentieth century it became an increasingly southern phenomenon, with overwhelmingly African American victims. Until the early 1900s, lynchings were treated as local matters, and even particularly brutal cases barely made headline news. By the 1930s, anti-lynching campaigns had helped make it a more mainstream issue, increasingly commented on by the white press and in magazines such as the Nation and Literary Digest.   

The Duck Hill lynching—at the height of the House anti-lynching debate—made only page 52 of the New York Times, but page one of the African-American paper, the Chicago Defender. A southern-based movement against lynching developed in the decades before the New Deal, as white southern liberals began to address some of the problems facing their region. The Commission on Interracial Cooperation (CIC) was established in 1919 to promote interracial understanding. One of its main aims was to eliminate lynching.—


*   *   *   *   *

Mockingbirds at Jerusalem (poetry Manuscript)

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 – Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 – Don’t Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 – Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 – Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King

#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change

By John Lewis

The Civil Rights Movement gave rise to the protest culture we know today, and the experiences of leaders like Congressman Lewis have never been more relevant. Now, more than ever, this nation needs a strong and moral voice to guide an engaged population through visionary change. Congressman John Lewis was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Despite more than forty arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He is the author of his autobiography, Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of a Movement, and is the recipient of numerous awards from national and international institutions, including the Lincoln Medal; the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Lifetime Achievement Award (the only one of its kind ever awarded); the NAACP Spingarn Medal; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, among many others.

*   *   *   *   *

Greenback Planet: How the Dollar Conquered

the World and Threatened Civilization as We Know It

By H. W. Brands

In Greenback Planet, acclaimed historian H. W. Brands charts the dollar’s astonishing rise to become the world’s principal currency. Telling the story with the verve of a novelist, he recounts key episodes in U.S. monetary history, from the Civil War debate over fiat money (greenbacks) to the recent worldwide financial crisis. Brands explores the dollar’s changing relations to gold and silver and to other currencies and cogently explains how America’s economic might made the dollar the fundamental standard of value in world finance. He vividly describes the 1869 Black Friday attempt to corner the gold market, banker J. P. Morgan’s bailout of the U.S. treasury, the creation of the Federal Reserve, and President Franklin Roosevelt’s handling of the bank panic of 1933. Brands shows how lessons learned (and not learned) in the Great Depression have influenced subsequent U.S. monetary policy, and how the dollar’s dominance helped transform economies in countries ranging from Germany and Japan after World War II to Russia and China today.

He concludes with a sobering dissection of the 2008 world financial debacle, which exposed the power–and the enormous risks–of the dollar’s worldwide reign.  The Economy

*   *   *   *   *

A Matter Of Law: A Memoir Of Struggle In The Cause Of Equal Rights

By Robert L. Carter and Foreword by John Hope Franklin

Robert Lee Carter (March 11, 1917 – January 3, 2012) insisted on using the research of the psychologist Kenneth B. Clark to attack segregated schools, a daring courtroom tactic in the eyes of some civil rights lawyers. Experiments by Mr. Clark and his wife, Mamie, showed that black children suffered in their learning and development by being segregated. Mr. Clark’s testimony proved crucial in persuading the court to act, Mr. Carter wrote in a 2004 book, “A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights.” As chief deputy to the imposing Mr. Marshall, who was to become the first black Supreme Court justice, Mr. Carter labored for years in his shadow. In the privacy of legal conferences, Mr. Carter was seen as the house radical, always urging his colleagues to push legal and constitutional positions to the limits.

He recalled that Mr. Marshall had encouraged him to play the gadfly: “I was younger and more radical than many of the people Thurgood would have in, I guess. But he’d never let them shut me up.” Robert Lee Carter was born in Caryville, in the Florida Panhandle . . . . —NYTimes / Oral History  Archive

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *






update 26 May 2012




Home    Civil Rights: Struggle for Black Power   Lynching Index

Related files: Juanita E. Jackson Bio  Indictment of Lynching  Much is Expected   Youth and the Lynching Evil

Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.