Part One: Historical Trauma of Lynching

In its attempts to more deeply understand the high rate of  maternal mortality experienced by African American communities, the Jane Crow Project has compiled the names (when they were available), dates and locations of lynchings of women, as gathered by others: Ida B. Wells, the NAACP,  Crystal Feimster, Maria DeLongoria, Kerry Segrave,  Professor William SerailleGrif Stockley, and so many more historians and researchers. Some links lead to other listings; some to newspaper contemporaneous newspaper accounts; others to books. No list is exactly alike and we have done our best to confirm the names and dates on this one. Some If you have an addition or a correction, please email us at rita@janecrowinfo.info Special thanks and appreciation to Bridgette Maynard, who spent last semester at UMass Amherst juggling her studies and spending nights and weekend performing research for this project. 

 

WHAT IS KNOWN NOW: WOMEN LYNCHED IN THE U.S. 

Lynching, that is the extra-judicial killings, was practiced widely by white mobs in the United States during the so-called Jim Crow era, from 1877 up to the Civil Rights era of the 1960s. The likelihood is high that this extreme and random mob violence, one that included torture and burning victims alive witnessed by thousands, created a legacy of trauma impacting the lives of all African Americans to this day, whether through epigenetics or through family narratives and current parallels. Moreover, given recent events, it is clearer than ever that all African Americans--male and female-- remain frequent targets of law enforcement for extra-judicial violence, even to the point of homicide. The crowd may now witness the assaults via videos posted on line. 

Most of the lynching victims were black men and male teens. However, we have been able to track down a list of nearly 200 who were female and a handful were white.  And just as lynchings were a tool to terrorize black men and boys, extra-judicial murders of women--white and black--were a vehicle to enforce and enhance the sexual and racial dominance of white men. Some were accused of a crime; others were a spouse or a relative of a man being lynched.  

Currently, the narrative of lynching is commonly one in which black men were falsely accused of raping white women and hung in front of a mob.This grossly the distorts the history to one of sexual jealousy. Most resources estimate that one in six male lynching victims were accused of rape. Victims were most often seeking fair compensation for their work or accused of petty crimes. Others were accused of serious crimes but not given the due process of law.  The dominant narrative also excludes female victims. To encourage a more accurate understanding of the role of the terror endured by African American families and some white women in the South, the Jane Crow Project gathered the names currently known of female lynch victims.

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Rita Henley Jensen