This edition features:
- The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States
- Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases
- Mob Rule in New Orleans: Robert Charles and his Fight to Death, The Story of his Life, Burning Human Beings Alive, Other Lynching Statistics
Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an African-American activist, journalist, teacher, newspaper editor, a popular public speaker and sociologist. Wells-Barnett was an early civil rights leader and one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In 1892 the lynching of two of her friends turned her into a vocal anti-lynching activist. Their murder set her on a path investigating and documenting lynchings, their causes and their outcomes. She published a number of high profile pamphlets and articles on lynching including her two most famous Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases in 1892 and her book The Red Record in 1895. Wells-Barnett’s investigations tackled the ‘Rape Myth’ the frequent alibi for lynchings was that they had sexually abused or attacked white women. Wells-Barnett showed that the majority of lynchings were actually for challenging white authority or competing with whites in business.
Where as the rape alibi meant American’s were able to accept or keep silent about lynchings. As Wells-Barnett said the accepted view was that “although lynching was…contrary to law and order…it was the terrible crime of rape [that] led to the lynching; [and] that perhaps… the mob was justified in taking his [the rapist’s] life”. Her studies went into the ways that lynching was a way of community control.